- Hailed as lifeline to travel sector
- Will take some time for benefits to be felt
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for Tourism and Aviation Cathal Crowe has welcomed the confirmation that an EU Covid travel certification plan is being progressed.
The European Union executives have stated that the ‘digital green certificate’ will cover documents from people who have been vaccinated, people who have not been vaccinated but have documents of a negative test result or recovery from Covid, as well as children with test or recovery documents.
“I’m so glad that European Union nations are starting to coordinate a plan for the resumption of international travel,” said Deputy Crowe.
“This can’t happen soon enough. The aviation and tourism sectors are both on their knees and there is no doubt that these two sectors are the ones most ravaged by Covid-19.
“Unfortunately, they are also likely to be the two sectors to encounter the slowest recovery.
“There is much cause for hope, though, as Ireland and other EU countries ramp up their vaccination plans.
“As countries like Ireland start to vaccinate large numbers of the adult population, we need to look strategically at a resumption of international travel and this is where this certificate’s importance becomes all the more evident.
“While it may not be to everyone’s liking, for the next number of months, I envisage that those who have been vaccinated should be shown more leeway in terms of boarding flights and travelling overseas.
“At a recent Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting, I asked An Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Minister for EU Affairs Thomas Byrne to lead this dialogue at an EU level.
“Minister Byrne, I know, has since spoken to number of his counterparts in Europe, with a view to having a safe return to international air travel.
“Airports already have a lot of existing infrastructure to screen passengers as they filter through the concourse – there are multiple security and passport checkpoints and this will add another layer of verification; that being of Covid vaccination.
“There will be some who will say that this is an impediment on their civil rights to move freely throughout the EU but we do also need to consider that Covid has taken away all normal rights and any small measure that can see a restoration of these needs to be expedited urgently.
“I share some of the concerns being articulated by those in aviation and tourisms that these provisional new travel cert plan may take a number of months to agree and implement and I don’t think we can wait that long.
“Without some certainty for the summer season, we risk seeing more volatility in the sector and as Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Tourism and Aviation, I’ll be using my voice to champion for a rapid progression of these plans at all levels.”