The Irish government will be easing its coronavirus restrictions, revealing several steps on Friday (May 28) that will allow for a phased reopening of Ireland's economy this summer.
International travel to Ireland will resume on July 19 through the new EU Digital COVID Certificate, a health pass that lets travellers from EU member states prove that they have been vaccinated, have tested negative for COVID-19 or have had proof of recovery.
Irish officials also unveiled a plan for reopening hotels on June 2 and resuming outdoor service at restaurants and pubs on June 7.
Indoor service at pubs and restaurant is set to resume on July 5.
Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Micheál Martin, in a national address, said Ireland’s strategy in fighting COVID-19 is working and that "the end of this is within our grasp."
"This is an important time for us all. After the trauma of the last 15 months, we are finally taking definite steps toward enjoying normal times with friends and loved ones again," Martin said. "We are almost back to a point where we can enjoy the ordinary and extraordinary moments in our lives, the excitement and relief is palpable."
"Good news for everyone"
In a statement Friday, Tourism Ireland welcomed the news.
“Ireland’s adoption of the EU’s new Digital COVID Certificate, which will enable more seamless travel among EU member states, is good news for everyone in the tourism and hospitality industry,” said the organization that is responsible for promoting Ireland overseas.
EU travellers using the health pass will be able to visit Ireland without the need for a test or quarantining.
Tourism Ireland also welcomed the commitment to extend the Digital COVID Certificate to vaccinated visitors from other countries, including Canada, in due course.
“Tourism Ireland and the tourism industry on the island of Ireland have been actively planning for the restart of international travel. The organization is now ready to roll out a significant promotional kick-start campaign to entice and welcome back international visitors,” the organization said.
Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said the news was “extremely welcome” and an “important step on the road to recovery for our industry and for those looking forward to visiting Ireland this year.”
“For the first time in many months, we can look to the future with optimism,” Gibbons said.
“We know from our research that there is significant pent-up demand among travellers in our overseas markets to return to the island of Ireland as soon as possible. However, we also know that there will be significant competition in the marketplace. Every destination across the globe has experienced the impact of COVID-19 and will be seeking their share of the recovery.”
“Our kick-start campaign will punch through the noise and create an immediate desire to visit.”
Tourism Ireland looks forward to getting “back in full swing,” Gibbons said.
The organization will be working closely with its partners in the coming months to “restore as much business as possible,” he added.
“Our message is that we can’t wait to roll out the green carpet and welcome back our overseas visitors,” Gibbons said.
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