Posted on 08/06/2021

#Society #Ireland

Ireland announces its plan to reopen to tourists just in time for the summer as they ease restrictions

Ireland is slowly coming out of what was one of the world's toughest and strictest lockdowns. Indeed on May 28, the Irish government approved plans to allow travel to start up again in July, but also to slowly expand to the hospitality industry as well.

Ireland is slowly coming out of what was one of the world's toughest and strictest lockdowns. Indeed on May 28, the Irish government approved plans to allow travel to start up again in July, but also to slowly expand to the hospitality industry as well.

A Tough Lockdown

A Tough Lockdown © Grafxart / 123RF

Micheál Martin, the Irish taoiseach - prime minister - announced on May 28 that non-essential international travel could resume from July 19. Ireland has also agreed to partake in the EU's digital health pass. This pass will make travel easier as it will hold information such as whether or not the holder has been vaccinated against the virus, whether they have tested positive or negative to the virus and whether they have recovered from the virus. During a government press conference, the Irish prime minister said that they need to "get this right" to make sure that people can begin to travel in a "safe and sustainable way."

Eamon Ryan, Ireland's transport minister, confirmed that the Us and the UK are on the travel list starting from July 19 as well. The EU's digital health pass does not apply to the US and UK, but the transport minister assured that "a similar approach" would be followed. However, like most travel news, things can change suddenly, for example, Ireland may put in place more restrictions for the UK due to the Indian variant of COVID-19.

Vaccine Rollout

Vaccine Rollout © Leonid Andronov / 123RF

Ireland's vaccine distribution has not been the best in Europe, however, the health minister Stephen Donnelly, assured that by the end of May 50% of the adult population should have received their first dose of the vaccine. Ireland has been in a nation wide lockdown since March 2020 with some of the toughest restrictions. From December to May, the Irish government had banned indoor household mixing, hospitality and retail had been suspended and citizens could not travel further than 5 km from their homes.

Thanks to the surge in vaccination rates, the Irish government can slowly ease lockdown restrictions. Domestic travel and hotels are permitted, restaurants and bars can currently only offer takeout or delivery services, but outdoor dining will resume from June 7, and indoor hospitality for pubs and restaurants will be permitted from July 5.

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