Transport minister warns against 'firm guarantees' of international travel

ireland
Transport Minister Warns Against 'Firm Guarantees' Of International Travel
Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan, © PA Media
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The Minister for Transport has warned against giving firm guarantees on the resumption of international travel.

Eamon Ryan said there is a danger that such comments would lead to anticipatory behaviour, risking the progress being made in reducing Covid-19 numbers.

Mr Ryan was responding to concerns raised over the future of the aviation industry as level 5 restrictions continue, but the Minister said people do not want to be given false hope.

"If we start to put out plans saying travel is going to open up at this time, there's a risk that immediate behaviour would change, and we would not get that real attention.

"What we still need to focus on in the next few weeks in terms of keeping numbers down is that we don't start to mix messages on that," he said.

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The Green Party leader's comments come after Ryanair launched a 'Covid-19 Certificate Wallet' on Wednesday.

Ryanair is confident that the EU’s vaccine rollout programme will see the removal of current EU travel restrictions in time for the school holidays.

The airline claim the wallet, which is available through the Ryanair app, will make EU air travel "as seamless as possible for customers this summer".

Ryanair said the new addition will allow for passengers to upload negative PCR test results and vaccination certificates to the app prior to their journey.

However, the EU has not yet announced a framework to enable non-essential travel between member states, nor has it confirmed whether people who have been vaccinated will be able to travel more freely.

Despite this, the statement from the airline said: "Ryanair is confident that the EU’s vaccine rollout programme will see the removal of current EU travel restrictions in time for the school holidays.

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"Since EU governments won’t have a vaccine passport in place for this summer, Ryanair is mindful that additional Covid travel documents may be required by certain EU countries and Ryanair’s new C-19 Travel Wallet ensures passengers have all their Covid-19 travel documents saved and secure in one place to present at airports on their next getaway."

The Irish Government has not indicated any intention to ease restrictions on international travel in the coming months, with current Level 5 measures due to remain in place until April 5th.

Government leaders have also warned that any easing of measures announced next month will be minor and any further reopening may not happen until May.

Earlier today, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said there could be some level of domestic tourism this summer, but warned the data would have to be seen before any decision could be made.

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