After months of lockdown, the government of Ireland has announced a plan to resume international travel in mid-July using the EU green certificate.
Ireland Reopening For International Travel In July
Ireland has had some of the strictest travel restrictions in the EU. They went back into a full-lockdown earlier this year which imposed a non-essential travel advisory, fines on travelers who leave to go on holiday, and a two-week hotel quarantine for visitors from over 50 countries. This effectively shut down tourism in the country.
During a briefing on Friday morning, senior officials in Ireland announced a plan to reopen, including the resumption of international travel.
Starting on July 19th, travelers from the EU, UK, and US will be able to visit the country using the EU Green Certificate.
Ireland Is Adopting EU Green Certificate
Ireland will be adopting the EU green certificate, which will allow travelers to visit who have received a vaccine, have a negative test or are immune, or have recovered from COVID-19 to travel freely around the bloc.
Vaccinated passengers will be able to visit Ireland without a negative test and will also be exempt from any quarantining measures.
The mandatory hotel quarantine is expected to continue beyond July 19th for those traveling from ‘red list zones’ who are not fully vaccinated or do not have a negative PCR test.
Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, said that Europe would be introducing the travel scheme from July 1st and would allow around six weeks for member states to introduce the travel certificate.
Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Michael McGrath said the Government would like to see international travel return as soon as possible.
Phased Reopening Plan Starting Next Month
Ministers will also sign off on a phased reopening of hospitality beginning next month per recommendations from The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet)
Hotels and Outdoor Dining Reopening in June
Nphet has said that hotels can reopen on June 2nd and the resumption of outdoor dining five days later.
Starting on July 5th, pubs, restaurants, and cafes can begin to serve customers indoors.
The Restaurants Association of Ireland said it would be challenging the Government’s decision to reopen indoor dining in hotels ahead of restaurants, gastro pubs, and cafes.
Large Events Allowed in August
Nphet has said that spectators can attend outdoor and indoor events from August 2 onwards.
According to their recommendations, 500 attendees could attend outdoor events such as concerts or matches.
They also added that 5,000 spectators (or 25%) of the capacity of larger venues might also be permitted, which means visitors could attend games in popular stadiums such as Croke Park.
As for indoor events, 100 people will be allowed to attend events such as concerts and comedy shows, while 200 attendees will be permitted in larger venues.
Trials of indoor and outdoor events will occur in June and July, which may impact how the reopening rolls out.
Reopening Going Ahead Despite Vaccine Shortage
According to Ireland’s Health Services (HSE) chief executive Paul Reid, about 2.6 million people have received at least one vaccine dose, and 800,000 have been fully vaccinated. Dr. Colm Henry of the HSE said that the number of deaths had “collapsed” due to the vaccines.
Despite news this week of a shortfall in the supply of vaccines, the Government Ministers are expected to go ahead with the reopening plans recommended by Nphet.
Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said: “The people have every reason to be hopeful about the summer ahead. We are ahead of ourselves in terms of where we thought we would be regarding hospitalizations and cases.”
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories