Ireland to reopen to international travellers

Ireland is opening up to fully vaccinated British travellers from Monday.

The relaxation of Covid travel restrictions will coincide with ‘Freedom Day’ in the UK.

Tourism Ireland said there will be no need to for double jabbed travellers to quarantine in either direction.

It will be the first European country to enable such access due to the Common Travel Area.

Tourism Ireland is launching a co-operative pilot programme aimed at supporting Irish industry’s overseas tourism recovery.

The initiative is aimed at supporting industry to undertake sales and marketing activities in core international markets to increase inbound visitor numbers.

A spokesperson said: “The recent announcement about the re-opening of international travel to Ireland on 19 July is excellent news for everyone working in the tourism and hospitality sector here.

“Tourism Ireland has been actively planning for this restart and is now ready to roll out a significant promotional kick-start campaign to entice and welcome back overseas visitors.”

The change coincided with the Irish government confirming €23 million in pandemic recovery aid for airports across the country.

The funds will be handed out to the airports of Dublin, Cork, Shannon, Ireland West (Knock), Kerry and Donegal.

The bulk – €20 million – is being provided to the state airports of Dublin, Cork and Shannon.

Irish transport department minister Hildegarde Naughton said: “This important funding is being provided ahead of a return to international travel on 19 July.

“I am hopeful that this funding will go some way towards aiding the recovery process in the aviation sector.

“As travel restrictions begin to lift, I am also hopeful that this funding may assist in restoring connectivity by affording our state airports greater flexibility in their capacity to offer route incentives, in consultation with airlines.

“I am confident that today’s announcement, coupled with the funding programmes, will help the aviation sector regain its position as a critical economic driver when recovery begins.”

The move was welcomed by the Irish outbound industry.

Pat Dawson, chief executive of the Irish Travel Agents Association, said: “We wholeheartedly welcome the reopening of travel within Europe, after a difficult year for our industry. The swift rollout of the EU Digital Covid Certificates has been impressive, with many people across the country receiving their certificates by email or post since Tuesday 13th July.”

He added: “After restricting movements for over a year now, there is certainly a pent-up demand for travel among Irish consumers. Our member travel agents are willing and committed to provide safe and responsible travel, therefore we encourage consumers to readers to book their next holiday with their local ITAA member travel agent.

“Booking with an ITAA travel agent gives unparalleled consumer protection along with great advice and service, and we continue to work hard to get the very best deals for our valued customers.”

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