Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

14.16 28 Apr 2021


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Travel agents are not expecting foreign travel and holidays to ramp up until the end of August.

The Irish Travel Agents Association believes there are still several months to go until 'significant air travel' into and out of Ireland resumes.

It comes as MEPs vote today on a 'green pass' to allow the return to the free movement of people around the EU.

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The digital pass would show whether someone's been fully vaccinated, tested negative or recovered from the virus.

Spain’s tourism minister has already said the country is ready to welcome back tourists in June.

Several European countries are heavily reliant on tourism within the EU and do not want to lose another summer season due to the pandemic.

However, Pat Dawson from the Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) doesn’t think Irish people will be travelling abroad in larger numbers until late August.

He said: "If we meet the target of 250,000 [vaccinations] a week, like the Minister for Health has stated... we'll certainly be in a great position.

"But I don't visualise any significant air travel - either into Ireland or out of Ireland - until the back end of August or September."

Mr Dawson does believe the 'green cert' will be a valuable document - and one that's urgently needed to allow tourism to resume.

Government ministers have encouraged people not to book holidays abroad for now.

However, Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney last week said a "gradual change" to the currently restrictive travel advice is likely over the summer months.

Main image: File photo. Picture by: Brian Lawless/PA Wire/PA Images

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