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Holiday hopes Finance Minister casts doubt over summer staycations as he says it's too early to speculate

Will we be able to travel across our country during the summer? It does depend on where we’re going to be with the disease, and we will do our best to give plenty of notice to those in our hospitality sector, and then of course to families and potential domestic tourists"

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Connemara National Park

Connemara National Park

Connemara National Park

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has cast doubt on staycation plans for the summer as he said it's still too early to say whether they can happen.

After senior ministers effectively ruled out foreign holidays for most people this year, families and others hoping to emerge from lockdown looked closer to home for a well-deserved break.

Last week, RTE reported how staycation holidays “will be a big feature of the summer once again this year” as holiday rentals in coastal areas, particularly along the Wild Atlantic Way on the west coast, were already seeing a big increase in bookings.

However, Minister Donohoe told Newstalk Breakfast today it's still too early to say whether that can happen.

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Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe (Julien Behal Photography/PA)

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe (Julien Behal Photography/PA)

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe (Julien Behal Photography/PA)

He said the Government is hoping to give clarity on the issue of domestic summer travel within the next few weeks.

Mr Donohoe said any advice issued on staycations would be contingent on public health guidelines, and that the Government would give the Irish holiday sector “good notice” so they could plan and prepare, if necessary.

He said: “With so many families, holiday plans at home and definitely abroad have been booked and rebooked and changed so many times over the last 12 months.

“Will we be able to travel across our country during the summer? It does depend on where we’re going to be with the disease, and we will do our best to give plenty of notice to those in our hospitality sector, and then of course to families and potential domestic tourists.

“I can’t answer that question for you today, but I would hope in the coming weeks we would be able to give the clarity many do seek."

He insisted that they were doing "all we can" to ensure vaccinations happen with the "speed and scale that is needed".

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