International travel from Ireland seems set to return in mid-July, but plans to make trips to the UK first have hit a roadblock.
A preliminary date of July 19 has been set for overseas travel, as Irish tourists remain eager to know when they can fly for a sunny break after nearly 18 months of restrictions.
But due to concerns with Britain’s variant of COVID-19 that first originated in India, an earlier plan to bring back travel between Ireland and the UK earlier appears to be out of the question.
Follow the advice of medical director Tony Holohan, who said there are “real concerns” about the rising rate of infection with the variant in our neighboring country across the Irish Sea.
The EU eco-friendly digital travel certificate is expected to be introduced on July 19, allowing vaccinated individuals to travel without producing a negative Covid test upon return.
Speaking to RTE’s Morning Ireland today, Tanaiste Leo Varadkar said the return to international travel would be “in stages” but not a return to pre-pandemic conditions.
He said: “There will be restrictions and requirements around vaccines and tests and we will come back to a situation with different rules for different countries.”
The cabinet is expected to confirm the travel arrangements later today, while also saying that all EU countries will be removed from the mandatory hotel quarantine list.
Eating and drinking should only be allowed indoors starting July 5, NPHET informed cabinet ministers.
It has also been confirmed that NPHET gave the green light to allow hotels to reopen as planned on June 2 and cookout dining to resume starting June 7.
Ultimately, the Cabinet will make a decision today with the June 5 date not yet set in stone.
Public health experts are also believed to have said that up to 5,000 spectators can attend outdoor events in large stadiums starting in early August, potentially driving fans back to stadiums for games.