Taoiseach says it is 'full steam ahead' for EU digital green pass

Under plans set to be approved by EU leaders, tourists bearing the digital pass – which would attest that the holder has either been vaccinated against Covid-19, has a negative test result or has had the virus in the last six months – would be able to travel freely through the EU.
Taoiseach says it is 'full steam ahead' for EU digital green pass

Digital Desk Staff

Updated at 13:05

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said it is “full steam ahead” with the European digital green pass, which is expected to open up travel throughout the bloc.

Speaking to The Irish Times as he met with fellow EU leaders in Brussels, Mr Martin said the “only issue” for Ireland would arise in public health advice around travel and assessing the public health situation “in terms of travel across the European Union”.

Under plans set to be approved by EU leaders, tourists bearing the digital pass – which would attest that the holder has either been vaccinated against Covid-19, has a negative test result or has had the virus in the last six months – would be able to travel freely through the EU.

It comes as earlier it was reported that the EU’s digital green pass, which it is hoped will open up travel across the bloc, is expected to be operated in Ireland from the middle of July, according to those involved in discussions.

As The Irish Times reports, Ireland is likely to commence the scheme in mid-July.

Sources said that challenges presented by Ireland’s high usage rate of private tests were being worked on, but there was also considerable caution from public health experts about an early reopening.

The Government will retain the authority to control the conditions for entry, and will monitor the containment of the virus and the rate of vaccination before the scheme is commenced.

Indoor venues

Meanwhile, new guidelines for the resumption of hospitality to be released today will put a 105-minute time limit on indoor visits to pubs and restaurants, it is understood.

Sources say the guidelines will have a huge focus on ventilation for indoor venues when they reopen, likely in July.

There will be a distance of one metre between tables, and a limit of six people per booking.

For outdoor dining a distance of one metre will also apply, and it will be up to each establishment to decide if they want to set a time limit and if so how long this should be for. The guidelines were still being worked on by Fáilte Ireland last night (Monday), it is understood.

While the Cabinet will meet later this week to set dates for the future reopening of hospitality and international travel, a further Cabinet meeting next week on June 1st will consider the issue of financial supports for the hardest hit sectors, including pubs.

Ministers are keen to see additional supports extended to pubs such as enhanced grants for the supply of outdoor furniture.

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