The Irish government is about to open doors to foreign travel as of July 19, a decision that coincides with the country’s intention to implement COVID-19 vaccine certificates.
By July 19th we will remove the ban on non essential travel. We will also fully implement the EU digital green cert, which means those from an EU country who have been vaccinated, have recovered from Covid or can show a negative PCR test will be able to move freely.— Eamon Ryan (@EamonRyan) May 28, 2021
1. Foreign travel and vaccine certificates
The announcement to resume foreign travel came from Eamon Ryan, the Irish Transport Minister and Green Party leader, who noted that “travel and connectivity” are important to the island’s economy and social wellbeing. “By July 19 we will remove the ban on non essential travel”, said Ryan, informing that by that time, Ireland will be running the vaccine certificates system. Vaccine passports will allow EU citizens who have been vaccinated, or have recovered from COVID, or present a negative PCR test to move freely within the country.
During an interview with RTE Radio One, Ryan mentioned the six-week introductory period encouraged by the EU and informed that Ireland “will need that time” to prepare airport systems processing the vaccine certificates. Yet, the Minister said Irish airports will continue implementing public health measures to check people arriving in the country. The tourism sector has congratulated the government’s decision, describing the move as an “important step on the road to recovery” for the industry.
This will help protect thousands of jobs and livelihoods across the tourism industryNiall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland’s chief executive
2. Third countries
According to the Irish Minister the country will ease restrictions on non-essential travel for third countries “in a broadly similar way”, including visitors from the US. As for the UK, described as a “very close neighbour” but still a third country, Ireland maintains concerns related to the Indian variant dominant there. As a result, people arriving from the UK need to self-quarantine at home “unless they have been fully vaccinated”, Ryan went on, hoping to open up the country to the Common Travel Area later in the summer.
3. Social spaces
In the meantime, social spaces, including restaurants and pubs, opened their doors to the public on Monday (June 7) for outdoor dining. The country is also reopening cinemas, theatres and gyms. “We are looking forward to a really positive summer,” Ryan said. “I hope some of our population enjoys all that an Irish summer can offer — others will enjoy a holiday abroad or reconnecting with friends and family overseas, and I hope we will welcome tourists back as well”, he added. As of May 28, 2.5 million COVID vaccines have been delivered to the Irish people.