IRISH PEOPLE who haven't been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 should not go on holiday abroad this year, according to Dr Tony Holohan.
Ireland's Chief Medical Officer (CMO) says that given the sharp rise in infection rates around the country the responsible thing to do is to wait until you're fully protected from the virus before travelling overseas.
"I think a safe and responsible public health message has got to be, given that your vaccine is not far away, wait until the point of vaccination before you engage in international travel," Dr Holohan said during a NPHET press briefing on Wednesday.
"The basic message for people who are not vaccinated has been to recognise that we're entering into a period of increased risk, there will be more virus circulating all the time.
"You really need to be careful about the kind of activities that you undertake."
The CMO added that fully vaccinated individuals weren't being discouraged from taking holidays.
It comes as Ireland prepares to reopen its starved hospitality sector after Government passed legislation to allow for the return of indoor dining in pubs, restaurants and cafés this week.
A vaccine pass system is to be introduced, to ensure that only fully vaccinated individuals are accessing these areas.
In anticipation of the return of indoor hospitality, Dr Holohan said that some of the public health measures put in place, such as the one hour and 45 minute time limit, may not be necessary if everyone attending is indeed fully vaccinated.
"We would have given advice last year in relation to the hour and 45 minutes and other arrangements on the basis that this time last year, when we were reopening hospitality, there was no vaccination," he said.
"That no longer is the situation."
Government has faced backlash over the recent emergency legislation. Many feel the new laws are discriminatory as they deny freedoms to those who cannot, choose not to, or simply haven't been given the chance to take the Covid-19 vaccine.
Cabinet members have defended the legislation though, claiming that it was the only way to safely reopen thousands of pubs and restaurants around the country, and to send over 180,000 people back to work full time.