breakingnews– 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 in Government.
EU leaders are expected to approve the plan, which will become operational from July 1st, at the ongoing summit in Brussels, but member states will have six weeks to implement it.
As The Irish Times reports, Ireland is likely to commence the scheme in mid-July.
It means that tourists bearing the pass – which attests that the holder has either been vaccinated, has a negative test for Covid or has had the virus in the last six months – will be able to enter the country without quarantining.
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.
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.