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(Alliance News) – Irish people will be able to once again travel to other EU member states from July 19, the government has confirmed.

Ireland will broadly implement the EU’s digital Covid certificate from July 19, facilitating travel between EU member states, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Iceland.

The digital Covid certificate will facilitate free movement in the EU for people who have been vaccinated or can provide a negative PCR test taken 72 hours prior to arrival.

However, restrictions will remain in place for Great Britain and the US.

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan said: “By the 19th of July, we will remove the ban on non-essential travel.

“We will also fully implement the digital Covid cert, which means that anyone coming from an EU country who has been vaccinated, or has recovered from Covid, or can show a negative PCR test, will be able to move here freely, come back home freely.”

Children who are not vaccinated or have not recovered from Covid will still need a PCR test to travel.

Ryan said the return of international travel was not without risk, noting that variants of concerns could cause case numbers to rise.

“We have to be careful as we make this transition” he said.

Similar restrictions will be in place for non-EU countries or “third countries”, which will include the US and the UK.

Ryan said that while the UK is a “very close and important neighbour to us”, concerns remain about the Indian variant, which has become the dominant strain there.

He added: “We will require people arriving from Great Britain to self-quarantine at home unless they have been fully vaccinated.

“We will keep this under review and I hope later this summer we will be able to open up further to the common travel area, that we have the privilege of sharing with the UK.

“Mandatory auto quarantine will be retained for what we expect to be a very small number of countries and will only be used in relation to variants of concern.”

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