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Holidays abroad and indoor pints could be possible in July, says Taoiseach

“We cannot stay disconnected forever. Ireland is a globalised country,” he said.

Image: Shutterstock/Jag_cz

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN has indicated that holiday travel could take place in late July or August if the risks associated with Covid-19 are low enough to allow it.

Speaking to Pat Kenny on Newstalk this morning, he said that in July or August international travel might be possible.

He said a clearer picture will emerge in the middle to the end of June, adding:

“So it’s possible in July, August, that travel will be possible, given the fact that vaccination would have happened all over Europe.”

He indicated travel might also be possible between the United States, as it is far more advanced in its vaccine programme than other countries.

“These are issues that we will have to make decisions on,” he said, stating that this will be done in conjunction with the other member states of the European Union.

He said Ireland will be “full participants” in the EU’s Digital Green Certificate. 

The certificate has been signed off on by the EU Commission to open up air travel again. Three options are contained in the cert – which can also be in paper form.

A person can show proof that they have been vaccinated; they can show proof of a negative PCR test; or they can show that they had Covid in the last couple of months.

Travel and aviation is an important issue overall for the country, he said, in terms of connectivity and economic development.

Speaking on RTÉ earlier this morning, he said the advice was certain for May and June that people should avoid all non-essential travel.

However, he said the situation would open up more in July if transmission rates were in keeping with predictions of them declining.

“We cannot stay disconnected forever. Ireland is a globalised country,” he said.

“We have to assess all the risks as we move forward. Travel resuming towards the latter half of July is a possibility,” he said.

Martin also told Newstalk this morning that he hopes it might be possible to have an indoor pint by late July, again depending on the extent of vaccination and case numbers.

Asked if fans could have an indoor pint and then go to the All Ireland final, which is due to be held in August, he said: “It’s a possibility. I do not want to be nailing my colours to the mast (but) by that time there will be a significant number of vaccinations.”

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The Taoiseach also said that there had been disagreements between public health experts about the role antigen testing should play in reopening society, but he said:

“I’m of a view we should press ahead with the antigen testing.”

Deaths, ICU and hospitalisations are the numbers the government are looking at as more important metrics than the daily case numbers now, Martin said – adding that that is what they will be focusing on when looking at restrictions in future.

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