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Holi-yay Fully vaccinated people may be able to holiday abroad from July

Ireland will sign up to the EU’s digital green certificated system for vaccinated passengers but the Government will make their own decision on which Ireland will allow travel to and from.

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(Nick Ansell/PA)

(Nick Ansell/PA)

(Nick Ansell/PA)

Vaccinated people will be able travel abroad for foreign holidays from July under plans to be discussed by Cabinet.

A memo is being drafted by the Department of the Taoiseach to clear the way for overseas holidays on a graduated basis over the summer months.

It is expected non-essential travel between Ireland and Britain will be permitted from July followed by the easing of restrictions on flights to EU countries based on vaccination levels and the rate of the virus in certain countries.

Travel to the US and elsewhere will happen at a later date.

Ireland will sign up to the EU’s digital green certificated system for vaccinated passengers but the Government will make their own decision on which Ireland will allow travel to and from.

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Don't write it off yet - foreign travel may yet happen in 2021

Don't write it off yet - foreign travel may yet happen in 2021

Don't write it off yet - foreign travel may yet happen in 2021

A significant review of the mandatory hotel quarantine system is also expected. Work is also underway to ensure the necessary technology to facilitate the introduction of vaccine passports.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has she hopes all member states will welcome vaccinated US visitors once the digital green certificates are in place.

However, on Tuesday, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar suggest restrictions on travel between Ireland and EU countries or the US may not fully return until next year.

Speaking at an online vintners conference, Mr Varadkar said he will be making the case to fully restore the Common Travel Area between Ireland and Britain during the summer to boost pub and restaurant trade for the tourism industry.

However, Government backbench TDs are likely to put pressure on cabinet ministers to ease restrictions on travel quicker.

Fianna Fáil TD James O’Connor has already raised concerns about the Tánaiste’s comments about foreign travel between Ireland and Europe or the US not fully returning until next year.

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Meanwhile the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party will next week hear calls for a full implementation of the EU Digital Green Cert and the traffic light system with countries who have similar Covid-19 rates.

The party’s policy committee on aviation, hospitality and tourism will urge that travel to North America returns in a presentation to party colleagues, seen by the Irish Independent.

FF Senator Timmy Dooley who is a member of the internal Fianna Fáil committee, has criticised Transport Minister Eamon Ryan for not having a plan for aviation recovery.

“Minister Ryan is best placed to set out a plan for aviation recovery but unfortunately we haven’t seen sight of one,” Mr Dooley said on Twitter.

A spokesperson for the minister responded to the criticisms by stressing work was under way to get airlines flying again.

“Minister Ryan and the Department of Transport are working closely with other departments on plans to open up international travel including aviation,” the spokesperson said.

“The minister expects a memo will be brought to government next week which will set out the next steps in the process, including the likely revision of the mandatory hotel quarantine system, a pathway to lift travel restrictions on those who are vaccinated, and plans for the implementation of the EU Digital Green Certificate.”

Frustration among backbenchers was made clear at the Oireachtas Transport Committee after members heard Italy was willing to welcome Irish tourists from next week.

Clare TD Joe Carey said the committee was “extremely anxious” at the devastating effects the restrictions were having on airlines, their employees and businesses dependent on them.

“I am repeating my call on Eamon Ryan today to come out with a comprehensive plan,” he said.

Senator Timmy Dooley said there had been a failure by the minister to come forward with credible plans.

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