Minister for European Affairs "certain" international travel will return this summer 1 month ago

Minister for European Affairs "certain" international travel will return this summer

He said Ireland will be part of a pilot scheme for the EU Digital Green Certificate.

Minister for European Affairs Thomas Byrne has said that he is "certain" that international travel will be able to return in the coming months.

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Tánaiste Leo Varadkar gave a hopeful update on the return of the aviation industry last month, saying that vaccine passports, which will allow a phased return of travel, could be operational by July.

Speaking to Dermot and Dave on Today FM, Varadkar said that, for holidays abroad to make a return, vaccine passports will most likely have to be incorporated.

He added that Ireland will be using the European Green Certificates, which he noted should be operational by July.

Now, Minister Byrne has said that he is "optimistic" international travel will return soon, as the EU prepares to pilot its Green Cert across June.

"The Digital Green Certificate will be either a QR code on your phone or a piece of paper, and we will actually have three certificates, one will be a vaccination certificate, there will also be a negative test certificate and a Covid recovery certificate and the idea is that it will facilitate and open up travel throughout the European Union when it is safe to do so," he said on Ireland AM on Thursday.

"What I'm certain of is, you will be able to travel with this, and you will be able to travel at some point during the summer."

Byrne added that "each country will be making their own decisions" on what they require visitors to prepare if they plan on travelling to their country.

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"It's possible if in some countries, numbers get very low, they may have very little requirements for travel, or that some countries will require a negative test result or some countries may be stricter about it and require a full vaccination certificate, we just don't know that yet," he added.

The Minister said that Mediterranean countries are already "pushing the door" looking for travel to reopen, however, it may still be too early to book flights.

"Personally, I'm very optimistic, I can tell you that you will be able to travel at some point, but I wouldn't be booking yet something that is non-refundable, because the situation is still uncertain," Byrne continued.

"You will be able to travel, the only question is when."