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Reopening Plans: Ireland Lagging Behind European Countries

Reopening Plans: Ireland Lagging Behind European Countries

Later this week An Taoiseach Micheál Martin will unveil the latest reopening plan for the Irish economy with a particular focus on the tourism, aviation and hospitality sectors. In advance of that announcement the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC) – using data from Eurostat, National Tourism Authorities, the European Commission and Our World in Data – takes a snapshot look at how Ireland compares to selected European peers.

Ireland Lagging Behind

As is evidenced in the chart below, Ireland compares unfavourably in terms of reopening travel, tourism and hospitality economies – which has a “serious knock-on effect on jobs, business survival, and economic growth,” according to ITIC.

Several European countries are already welcoming holiday visitors who have evidence of a negative PCR test without any quarantine requirement.

As of May 21, Ireland’s cumulative vaccination rate is 39 per cent of the adult population – which is less than Iceland (63 per cent), Portugal (47 per cent), Spain (49 per cent), France (45 per cent), Greece (44 per cent), Italy (48 per cent), Germany (50 per cent) and the UK (83 per cent). As a result, all of these countries are further ahead of Ireland in terms of reopenings, loosening of restrictions and the resumption of international travel.

EU Covid Certificate

The current situation varies across the continent in advance of the EU’s digital certificate, which will allow visitors from within Europe, and from further afield, with proof of vaccination, PCR test or previous infection to enter European Union countries without the need for test or quarantine upon arrival.

However, member states will be allowed to set their own requirements for travellers from individual countries based on their own epidemiological criteria.

A common feature of the current situation across Europe – where countries are open to travellers other than for essential reasons – is the continued need to maintain social distancing which limits capacity at venues, the requirement to wear masks, together with reduced trading hours and/or curfew in some destinations.

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Fionn Davenport is the editor-in-chief of the ITTN group, including ITTN and ITTN Ireland. He's one of Ireland's best-known travel journalists and writers, with nearly 30 years' experience writing guidebooks for Lonely Planet and others.

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