The prospect of vaccinated people being able to fly abroad by late summer will take a giant leap forward tomorrow as Cabinet ministers are to approve a major easing of restrictions on travel.
As the Irish Examiner reports, the Government will tomorrow approve a plan to remove most, if not all, European countries from the mandatory hotel quarantine list as part of a move to adopt the EU digital green cert.
While sources say there is a degree of concern around the Indian variant of Covid-19, Ireland’s vaccination programme is sufficiently advanced to allow the country to take this step.
The EU deadline for adoption of the green cert is June 26th, and, while individual countries will have latitude as to when they will apply it, the Government appears keen to be ready in time for the first wave.
By doing so, international travel within a single EU zone will be possible by late July or early August, senior Government sources said.
The proposal, due to be tabled in a memorandum to Cabinet by Taoiseach Micheál Martin, comes following a meeting of ministers and officials from several departments on Friday, with details due to be finalised today ahead of the Cabinet meeting.
Pressure has been building from Leo Varadkar and key economic ministers such as Paschal Donohoe and Michael McGrath to allow a return to air travel, given how important it is to Ireland’s connectivity to the rest of the world.
It is understood that a “significant scaling-back” of the mandatory hotel quarantine system is envisaged, but it will need to be retained for countries where “variants of concern” are present.