The Irish public may have to wait until at least August before jetting off on holiday as Tanaiste Leo Varadkar issued a latest blow to foreign travel.
It had originally been hope that Irish people may once again get away on a foreign holiday as early as July with the vaccination programme on track.
However that is now looking less likely as Tanaiste Leo Varadkar has warned that people should not travel abroad until at the very least August.
The Fine Gael leader has previously voiced his support for the reopening of travel between the UK and Ireland as well as the so called ‘green-cert’ system to allow vaccinated people to travel within the EU.
Mr Varadkar said: “I think it’s more towards the end of the summer, that it’s more likely around August at the earliest before we’ll be saying to people that it’s okay to engage in non-essential international travel.”
Mr Varadkar added: “Some countries might say a test is enough, other countries might say you have to be vaccinated, other countries might say, you might have to be vaccinated and have a test.
“There will be large parts of the world that will not be vaccinated fully or even extensively until the middle of next year.
“Australia, New Zealand, China and others will not be vaccinated until the middle of next year.
“Large parts of the developing world, India, Brazil, aren’t going to be vaccinated for quite some time as well.
“I think we will have some form of mandatory hotel quarantine for people travelling to and from those high risk areas.”
There was a bit better news for those wishing to travel to mainland Britain as Mr Varadkar said that the Common Travel Area would hopefully be reopened soon.
He said: “It is my ambition, intention and hope that we’re going to be able to restore the Common Travel Area with Britain very soon.”
The Green Cert when it arrives will have three sections, vaccination, test and recovery.
It will show if you have received a vaccine, if you have had a full PCR test with a negative result, and if you have had the virus and recovered.
Spain and Portugal are among the European holiday hotspots that have begun to welcome back tourists.
The countries are allowing people from other EU countries that have coronavirus rates less than 500 per 100,000 residents over a 14-day period.
Passengers arriving in are still required to show proof of a negative PCR test max 72 hours prior to arrival.
While some countries have loosened their restrictions on international travel, Ireland continues to prohibit journeys outside of the country unless it is for a limited number of acceptable reasons.
Anyone leaving the country still has to show proof that their reason for travel is essential while checkpoints remain in place at the airport.