The government has extended the advice against non-essential international travel until July 20.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that the country would adopt a "cautious approach" to international travel so as "not to undo the good work which has been done" in fighting Covid-19. Cabinet approved the extension at a meeting at Dublin Castle today.
"We need to keep the virus suppressed if we are to continue to reopen our country."
Mr Martin said that the government would not publish the so-called "green list" of countries which are safe to travel to before July 20. Mr Martin said that this list would be reviewed every two weeks going forward.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said that he recognised the "great sacrifice" that was being made by people who had booked holidays that had to be cancelled. However, he said that Ireland had already seen an upsurge in the number of cases being imported from abroad.
Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said that the restrictions, which mean that anyone who travels abroad must isolate for 14 days after returning, were "not what people want to hear, but what they need to hear".
A country's place on the "green list" will depend on three factors, Mr Coveney said. These are:
- The number of cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people
- The 14-day trend in new cases
- An assessment of the testing and tracing of those countries
Mr Coveney said that arrivals at Dublin Airport had risen from 1,200 on this day last week to 4,000 yesterday. He said it was vital that Ireland is able to know where people were as they went abroad.
Mr Coveney said that the advice was "very clear - don't travel abroad unless it's essential".
Mr Martin also confirmed that the Covid-19 contact tracing app will be launched tomorrow. Mr Donnelly said that "every single person can play an extra part" by downloading the app.