#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 16°C Thursday 5 August 2021
Advertisement

Government to launch campaign on travel making clear that young unvaccinated people can go abroad

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar clarified yesterday that young people who are not fully vaccinated can travel abroad this summer, despite the chief medical officer Tony Holohan giving advice to the contrary last week.

Those that have received a Covid-19 vaccine, a negative test result or recovered from the virus are permitted to travel from 19 July.
Those that have received a Covid-19 vaccine, a negative test result or recovered from the virus are permitted to travel from 19 July.
Image: Shutterstock/GRSI

THE GOVERNMENT IS to launch a communications campaign ahead of the roll out of the EU Digital Green Cert on 19 July which will set out clearly that young people, who have not yet been vaccinated, will be free to travel abroad under the new system.

It comes amid criticism of the government on more mixed messaging when it comes to international travel. 

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar clarified over the weekend that young people who are not fully vaccinated can travel abroad this summer, despite the chief medical officer Tony Holohan giving advice to the contrary last week.

People under the age of 30 are unlikely to have both vaccine doses until September at the earliest with Holohan advising this cohort of people not to travel if they are not fully vaccinated.

Damien McCallion, the HSE national lead on the vaccine roll-out programme, has confirmed that people in their 20′s are expected to be fully vaccinated by the end of September but that will be based on supply.

Speaking on RTÉ’s The Week in Politics, Varadkar said it would be “unfair” to ask them not to travel, stating that the government’s official advice is that when the EU’s digital travel cert is introduced on 19 July, travel for people who take PCR tests (or an antigen test, depending what country you are travelling to) or those who have previously had Covid is permitted.

There is frustration among those in government circles that views of the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) are being communicated as if it is official government advice, when that is not the case. 

One source said Holohan was giving his view on public health advice, but said that the government wants it to be made clear that there is nothing stopping those that have not yet been vaccinated from travelling abroad under the Green Cert system. 

They said this was stated very clearly by government a number of weeks ago when the announcement was made about the further easing of restrictions. 

The government is set to launch an information campaign ahead resumption of  international travel in July. The communications campaign will set out the rules clearly, so there can be no further confusion, said one source. 

Others within government have also suggested that the Department of Foreign Affairs website will need to be clear and unambiguous about the rules, and also clearly outline the rules that apply in other countries, as each EU member state are allowed to regulate their own restrictions.

Varadkar said: “We have to take wider considerations into account, and that’s why the government advice, the law we’re putting in place is actually different than the CMO’s advice.”

He added: “The advice from the chief medical officer is very clear.

“He’s saying that people who aren’t fully vaccinated shouldn’t travel, people who are fully vaccinated can.

“Because if you’re fully vaccinated, it’s very unlikely you will pick up the virus, it’s very unlikely you’ll bring it back to Ireland.

“And if I was the CMO, that’s the advice that I would give.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

“Because we are the Government, we have to take wider considerations into account, and that’s why the Government advice, the law we’re putting in place is actually different than the CMO’s advice.

“We are saying that people who aren’t fully vaccinated, including all those young people can travel abroad,” he said, adding that they will need a negative PCR test before they return back to Ireland.

While Varadkar said the CMO’s advice is “totally right from scientific and medical grounds”, he said there is an “unfairness” to young people.

Varadkar said people needed to be aware of the rules both in the country they are travelling to, and in Ireland for their return journey.

The Tanaiste also warned that restrictions on international travel could return if the Delta variant takes off.

He said: “It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that if Delta really takes off all over Europe and all around the world that we could see travel restrictions being re-imposed again.

“Look at what Belgium did today, for example, banning travel from the UK.”

With reporting by Press Association 

Read next:

COMMENTS (37)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel