The State will not provide free PCR tests for people going away on international holidays, says Minister
"It will be costly for international travel"
The State will not be providing free PCR tests for people going away on international holidays, according to Minister of State for eGovernment Ossian Smyth.
The Junior Minister was speaking after it was confirmed on Friday evening that, subject to the public health situation at the time, non-essential international travel will re-commence from 19 July.
This will see Ireland operating the EU Digital Covid Certificate (DCC), which will show whether a person is vaccinated against Covid-19, has recovered from the virus or has a negative test result.
The Government has made PCR tests for people living in Ireland who want to go on an international holiday a requirement if they have not yet been vaccinated or haven't had the virus.
The test must be taken no more than 72 hours before departure.
Under these rules, children aged between 7 and 18 who have not been vaccinated or have not had Covid-19 will need a negative PCR test.
Speaking on Saturday with Katie Hannon, Smyth stated that PCR tests would be "an addition" to the cost of travel, but stated that vaccination in most countries is free - calling it "the cheaper alternative".
Hannon then raised the point that the Covid-19 vaccine rollout will still not have reached a significant number of people, as well as children, by July.
In response, Smyth stated: "It will be costly for international travel."
Asked if there were any plans to subsidise PCR tests for travellers, the Junior Minister replied: "No, there isn't at the moment but I'm absolutely willing to talk to people about that."
He then added: "Just to be clear, the State is not going to test you for free before you go away on a holiday or a trip. That's certainly the policy at the moment".
Sinn Féin’s Darren O’Rourke was also a guest on the programme and said that this would have implications on the cost of travel for families.
He highlighted that PCR tests cost around €150 each.