Irish travel groups join calls for lifting of restrictions across EU

Groups argue vaccine programmes should allow Europeans to travel safely this summer

Irish travel businesses joined Europe-wide industry calls on European Union member states to approve European Commission proposals to reopen following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Airports Council International, whose members include Irish State company DAA, and Airlines For Europe (A4E), backed by Ryanair, joined forces with other industry groups to call for the co-ordinated end of travel curbs.

In a statement, travel and tourism groups argued that rapidly-advancing vaccination programmes should allow Europeans to travel safely this summer.

The groups issued their statement ahead of the EU ambassadors’ meeting on Friday.

They called on member states to fully implement European Commission proposals, including allowing fully vaccinated people to travel without tests or quarantines from 14 days after their inoculation is complete.

Equally, they say people who have recovered from the virus should be allowed travel without tests or quarantines up to 180 days after their positive test.

Green zones

Travel from green zones, those designated low-risk under the EU traffic-light system, should also be allowed travel with no restrictions, while those from orange and red zones should be allowed free movement if they test negative.

“Vaccination, recovery from Covid-19 or a negative test result can be proven by producing a digital Covid-19 certificate (DCC), or by other means, until the DCC is available,” their statement says.

The groups said the commission’s proposals were an essential move to restore travellers’ confidence.

“We believe that the European Commission has played its part, the industry is ready to ensure safe and responsible travel: we now need member states to act fast,” they said.

The Government has pledged that it will introduce digital certificates from July 19th as part of its plans to reopen travel.