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'step by step' Eamon Ryan hopeful foreign holidays will be allowed in 'a number of months’

The Green Party leader also says he hopes we’ll have ‘a sun holiday in Ireland this summer’

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Transport and Climate Minister Eamon Ryan said he expects foreign holidays will be allowed in “a number of months”. 

However, the Green Party leader said he wouldn't give an exact date as he doesn’t want to give people false hope, as it is a possibility Covid cases could spike again.

He added that he does hope “there’s a sun holiday in Ireland this summer”.

"I’m meeting some of the airlines later today and I think what they want, and what I would like to see as Transport Minister, is that we do not have another stop and start like previous experiences,” Minister Ryan said on RTÉ Radio 1’s Morning Ireland.

“We don’t want another lockdown and I don’t believe we will. I think we’ve done a remarkably good job in the last few months in the country with the gradual management of what was a very high incidence.

“We are working are way out, restrictions will be lifted next week.

"We will allow the people who have been vaccinated to be able to not have to do the mandatory hotel quarantine, that is coming and that will help.”

The Green Party leader added that the further widening up of international travel “will also come”.

He added: “But, the exact date we have to hold back on. What I fear is if in these next few weeks, in this critical period, if we have another spike you don’t want to dash people's hopes again.

“So, let’s just take it step by step. We are on the way out of the worst of this lockdown system and we will have a way of managing Covid so there is international travel, people will be able to take holidays abroad, it is coming.

"But, the exact timeline I don’t think we should raise false expectations yet, but it will be coming- within a number of months, I expect.”

Mr Ryan was also speaking on Earth Day today about the Government’s Climate Bill, which commits Ireland to a 51pc drop in emissions by the end of the decade and net carbon zero by 2050.

Mr Ryan said he believes the Bill will be in place this June or July - and that it was urgent that it be implemented this summer.

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“What gives me confidence in our strength on this is that it is all party,” he said. “The joint-Oireachtas committee on climate change spent a huge amount of time interviewing all the experts, holding all the internal sessions working on the best way of approaching this bill.

“They recommended 78 amendments and the Government have accepted the vast majority of them- it’s a much stronger bill on the back of that.

“So that means a lot of the work that would ordinarily be done at a committee and reports stage has been done already.

“We have an urgency here time wise, we need a new action plan in place for this summer.”

Minister Ryan said the government will focus on upgrading social housing to make it more eco-friendly if the Bill is implemented.

He added that it also plans on implementing a warmer homes scheme and those on lower-incomes that are at risk of fuel poverty will receive improvements first.

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