WELCOME HOME: Taoiseach confirms date all restrictions on travel from Britain, EU and US will be lifted

WELCOME HOME: Taoiseach confirms date all restrictions on travel from Britain, EU and US will be lifted

THE Irish Government has today confirmed the date when international travel can resume between Britain, the EU and the US.

In a televised speech outlining further lifting of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, Taoiseach Micheál  Martin revealed July 19 as the date that non-essential travel in and out of Ireland can resume.

From that date, subject to the prevailing public health situation, Ireland will operate the EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) for travel originating within the EU/EEA.

A DCC will show if a passenger is vaccinated against COVID-19; has recovered from COVID-19; or has a negative test result

Passengers arriving into Ireland with a DCC will not have to undergo quarantine.

The nation will broadly apply the same approach to arrivals from non-EU countries, including Britain and the US, it was confirmed today.

Arrivals from those countries, who are in possession of a DCC, will be able to travel freely across the island, without needing to quarantine, so long as the countries they are arriving from are not deemed to be at high risk of spreading Covid-19 variants.

Unvaccinated travellers from outside the EU must arrive with a negative test and self-quarantine until they take a second post-arrival test.

Speaking today, the Taoiseach said the nation’s strategy to combat Covid-19 is working and that "the end of this is within our grasp".

"This is an important time for us all,” he said of the restrictions due to be lifted.

“After the trauma of the last 15 months, we are finally taking definite steps toward enjoying normal times with friends and loved ones again," he added.

"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."

The news that non-essential travel to Ireland will return in July will be welcome across Britain and the US, where many Irish citizens have been unable to return home for more than a year at this stage.

Today Nail Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, also welcomed the news.

“Today’s announcement is an extremely welcome and important step on the road to recovery for our industry in Ireland and our trade partners overseas,” he said.

“For the first time in many months, we can look to the future with optimism.”

He added: “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.

“Everyone at Tourism Ireland looks forward to getting back in full swing, to promote the island of Ireland as a safe, welcoming and ‘must-see’ destination across the world.

“Over the coming months, we will be working flat out, with all of our partners, to restore as much business as possible. Our message is that we can’t wait to roll out the green carpet and welcome back our overseas visitors."