Táiniste Leo Varadkar has said that people who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 could be able to jet off on holidays abroad before the end of this year.
This comes after the Fine Gael leader said that those who refuse to take the AstraZeneca jab when offered, will be left to last in queue. More on that here.
Fine Gael ministers also said that June was “too soon” for Irish people to book holidays abroad.
Varadkar himself said, “I just honestly think June is too soon. I think we need to get into a position where we have our economy and society largely open here first”.
This comes as the European Union announced a plan to launch a digital certificate in June. This is in a bid to restart international travel.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney also said that this EU Green Passport will be ready for June. He also added that the Irish Government are currently working on an IT system to connect to it.
“Cautious and gradual”
Coveney echoed the point that June will probably be too soon for foreign holidays. He did add that a “cautious and gradual” return to foreign travel is expected for the end of the year.
Coveney said,“I think over the summer months we will see a gradual change to the advice on international travel but I certainly wouldn’t be advising anybody to be booking holidays”.
Leo Varadkar said that it is likely that the travel industry will lose its second Summer to the pandemic. However, the Táiniste said that there is a strong possibility of foreign travel returning towards the end of the year.
“I know how difficult all of this is” – Varadkar
Varadkar said, “I’m somebody who really misses travel and would love to see my sister in London and would love to travel abroad and enjoy warm weather and the Mediterranean again”.
“You didn’t expect to lose two summers. You lost one and you’re going to lose the bulk of another one unfortunately”.
“And so long as it’s safe to do so, you can be sure that I’ll be one of the people making the case for return to international travel”.
“When I say safe, it will never be 100 per cent safe. There will always be dangerous virus and variants out there, vaccines are never going to be 100 per cent but we’re just not there for June. It’s gonna be later in the summer or later in the year”.