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The introduction of the new EU-wide digital green certificates from June is expected to pave the way for the reintroduction of travel within the 27-member bloc

The introduction of the new EU-wide digital green certificates from June is expected to pave the way for the reintroduction of travel within the 27-member bloc

PA Archive/PA Images

The introduction of the new EU-wide digital green certificates from June is expected to pave the way for the reintroduction of travel within the 27-member bloc

International travel to and from the Republic, including foreign holidays, could be on the cards later this summer, ministers have signalled.

The introduction of the new EU-wide digital green certificates from June is expected to pave the way for the reintroduction of travel within the 27-member bloc.

Ministers believe this could allow people in the south who are vaccinated to take foreign holidays in other EU countries before the end of the summer provided the public health situation remains stable and the vaccination rollout is not disrupted.

While Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar both outlined their views yesterday that June is too early for international travel to resume, Mr Varadkar told his Fine Gael party last night he could see so-called vaccine passports being used for international travel.

Separately, Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said yesterday he foresees a change in the current advice against all non-essential travel during the summer months.

"Certainly, at some stage over the next number of months, I think you will see the benefit of the potential for international travel again, working through that green passport system," he said.

Last night Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien, whose constituency is home to Dublin Airport, said he was in favour of allowing international travel to resume once the new EU system is in place.

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"It needs to be agreed by the EU - as far as I am concerned that is our ticket back to foreign travel and rebooting our aviation sector," he said.

"When we can start flying again in any real numbers is dependent on that being done and the vaccination programme and testing being up to speed. If that is done by mid-summer then that should follow. I want it to happen, it has to happen and obviously it will all be done safely," said Mr O'Brien.

European Affairs Minister Thomas Byrne, who has been working closely on the green certificates at an EU level, said: "It is absolutely understandable that people want to travel. At the moment conditions don't allow it, but with the projected vaccination rollout that we have over the next few months I think it is entirely reasonable that people would be thinking about travel at the end of the summer and into the autumn."


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