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Transport Minister believes Delta variant will not impede international travel which is set to resume on July 19

DUBLIN: Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan has expressed hope that international travel will resume with the introduction of the EU Digital COVID Certificate on July 19 despite concerns over the Delta variant.

Minister Ryan is confident that international travel restrictions will be eased as planned from next month, allowing citizens to travel freely. He also believes that indoor activities will be relaxed and a greater number of people will be able to attend organised events in the next stage of the reopening, which begins on July 5.

The Government’s decision on overseas travel and easing of restrictions beginning July 5 will be based on the National Public Health Emergency Team’s advice. The NPHET will meet on Wednesday to analyze the latest data, and Cabinet will meet the following day.

“Clearly, we’ll listen to NPHET next week but I think their advice next week will be more likely in relation to the fifth of July, the next stage [of the reopening],” Mr. Ryan said.

“Everyone is dying to travel to visit friends and family for work, for holidays, for a whole range of different reasons. We want to see that back but we want to see it in a way where we’re not stop start, that we get the public health aspect right,” he added.

According to the Government sources, the NPHET’s model will focus on the predicted spread of the Delta variant whether the reopening was to proceed or not. However, this time they will put more emphasis on the number of possible hospitalisations rather than the number of cases that may arise. This is due to the country’s ongoing vaccination programme.

However, there are concerns about the youngsters because they have not been vaccinated and are expected to be socializing in the coming weeks. The National Immunization Advisory Council (NIAC) is currently considering whether to administer the remaining AstraZeneca vaccines to young people.

“We do have to be cautious, we do have to look at numbers even in the meantime. The scale of vaccinations in recent weeks has been phenomenal,” Minister Ryan said.

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