HOLIDAYS ABROAD will likely still be off the cards for Irish people this summer in spite of any success of the Covid-19 vaccination programme.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney discouraged would-be holidaymakers, despite the country's recent progress with the roll-out of vaccines.
A quarter of a million doses of the vaccine per week could be administered by the end of May, but this still might not be enough for the green light to be lit for holidays overseas.
"Don't book any holidays abroad yet," Minister Coveney said, while also dismissing suggestions that Ireland's proposed introduction of 'green cards' will double up as a vaccine passport for international travel.
The Government is currently considering implementing a so-called green card system, which will see people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 given a special certificate to allow them access to services such as gyms and cinemas.
A similar system has been suggested for international travel, and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen announced this week the EU is considering a proposal to implement a vaccine passport system across the entire bloc.
Vaccine passports, like the green cards, will be given to those who have been vaccinated to allow them to travel around the world without the need to quarantine or self-isolate upon arrival.
The green card system is currently being trialled in places like Israel, and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar says Ireland will keep a watchful eye on their progress to decide whether the system could be successfully implemented here.
"It's something that we could consider, but I think we can only consider it when we're confident that it's worked in Israel," Varadkar said on Monday.
"You'd want to have a critical mass of the population vaccinated before we even considered those measures."