Tánaiste Leo Varadkar says Ireland will likely use vaccine passports to return to travel from July 1 month ago

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar says Ireland will likely use vaccine passports to return to travel from July

Some cause to be optimistic about the return of travel abroad.

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

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

He added that Ireland would most likely use the European Green Certificates, which he noted should be operational by July.

"Aviation is an industry that has been really hammered by all of this, I'm looking forward to getting on a plane as soon as it's possible to do so," Varadkar said.

"We have taken a stricter line with this than other countries, partially because we're an island, and we are able to do things like quarantine that would be harder to do in other places.

"I do think where we are going to end up on this is the vaccine pass, which is this European-wide vaccine passport that says that you're fully vaccinated. That will be up and running in July, that will probably allow a slow return to aviation."

However, Varadkar is unsure when tourism will be able to resume as the certs are likely to be used "for essential reasons only" at the start of their rollout.

"Now, it might be travel for essential reasons only at the start, so I can't say when travel to see family and friends or tourism will start," the Tánaiste added.

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"As someone who likes to travel and as somebody who represents West Dublin, where a lot of people work in the airport and the airlines, we would be keen to get them going as soon as possible."

Earlier this year, the European Union proposed the Digital Green Certificate, a vaccine passport that would allow travel to 27 member countries if approved.