Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has announced that travel restrictions to some countries will be reduced from 9 July.

Speaking at Dublin Castle this evening, Mr Varadkar said that a "green list" of countries will be put together by that date.

He said it will showcase which countries can be travelled to from Ireland and where the 14-day quarantine will not apply.

The list will be compiled based off epidemiological data at a European Union level and is subject to change every two weeks.

Mr Varadkar said that if a country ends up having a resurgence of the virus, they can be taken off the list.

He also said checks and controls will be stepped up at airports and ports, which will include moving the Public Health Passenger Locator Form online.

There will also be an expanded list of people arriving into the country who will be exempt from the quarantine period, such as certain vital employees that need to enter the country.

The Taoiseach said we will see additional outbreaks and new spikes, adding that you can only open air travel between countries where the virus is at a similar level.


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Mr Varadkar said that the advice at the moment is that people should not engage in any non-essential travel off the island, but said the Government was signalling that from 9 July there will be a list of countries that you can travel to.

On domestic travel, restrictions across the country will be lifted as per the roadmap from Monday.

Minister for Health Simon Harris said we could now "reunite with desperately missed friends and family".

"I have no doubt that next week is going to be a week of people meeting up mum, or dad, or their son or daughter, or their grandkids, no matter where they live in this country," he said.

He added: "Its going to be a week of immense emotion, immense support and immense joy.

"Many of the things we have taken for granted, have become great gifts."

The Government also announced that travel to all offshore islands will be permitted under the next phase of easing of the roadmap.

Islands have been closed to non-residents since restrictions came into effect.

At this afternoon's Cabinet meeting, the National Public Health Emergency Team and the Attorney General recommended the islands be allowed to reopen to all traffic. 

Last week, Cabinet delayed their announcement pending consultation with Comhairle na nOileán, however that body said in a statement on Monday that they are not the body responsible for public health decisions or any Covid-19 pandemic decisions. 

Mr Harris said there will be risks associated with the additional movement of people and he said the public will have to "remain extremely vigilant" as the pandemic is far from over.

He appealed to people to follow the public health guidelines of "keeping our distance, washing our hands, coughing into the elbow and now wearing face coverings on public transport and in areas where you can't socially distance".

Mr Harris said while we can return to normality, it will be a new normal.