Leo Varadkar says summer holidays won't be allowed 'until August' at the earliest

Leo Varadkar says summer holidays won't be allowed 'until August' at the earliest

LEO VARADKAR says that foreign holidays will likely be off the cards in Ireland until August "at the earliest".

Initially, it was hoped that international travel could be opened back in July, but the Tánaiste now thinks differently, in what will come as a blow for anyone looking to grab a little continental sunshine early this summer.

He told reporters: "I think realistically, it's likely to be towards the end of summer, August at the earliest, before we're saying to people it's OK to engage in non-essential travel.

"A lot can go wrong between now and then. A lot can go right too. The law at the moment is that it is against the law to leave Ireland for non-essential reasons.

"We will have to change that law at some point," he added.

It comes as the final preparations are being made by the EU for the launch of their Digital Green Certificate which will allow greater freedom of movement between Member States.

Taoiseach Micháel Martin confirmed that Ireland would be joining the system, which shows whether passengers have been vaccinated against Covid-19, or if they've recently received a negative test result.

"The Digital Green Certificate will either be a QR code on your phone or a piece of paper, and we will actually have three certificates. One will be a vaccination certificate, there will also be a negative test certificate, and a Covid recovery certificate, and the idea is that it will facilitate and open up travel throughout the EU when it is safe to do so," said European Affairs Minister Thomas Byrne.

"What I'm certain of is, you will be able travel with this, and you will be able to travel as some point during the summer."