Young Irish people who are still not vaccinated can travel abroad this summer.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar gave families the green light for travel overseas despite the chief medical officer’s advice to the contrary.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan had advised people not to travel if they are not fully vaccinated.
People under the age of 30 are unlikely to have both vaccine doses until September at the earliest.
But Mr Varadkar said it would be “unfair” to ask them not to travel, when the EU’s digital travel cert, set to be introduced on July 19, allows for travel for people who take PCR tests or who have previously had Covid.
He added: “The advice from the chief medical officer is very clear.
“He’s saying that people who aren’t fully vaccinated shouldn’t travel, people who are fully vaccinated can.
“Because if you’re fully vaccinated, it’s very unlikely you will pick up the virus, it’s very unlikely you’ll bring it back to Ireland.
“And if I was the CMO, that’s the advice that I would give.
“Because we are the Government, we have to take wider considerations into account, and that’s why the Government advice, the law we’re putting in place is actually different than the CMO’s advice.
“We are saying that people who aren’t fully vaccinated, including all those young people can travel abroad, but they will need to get a PCR test before they return and that is the protection that we’re looking for.”
Mr Varadkar said the CMO’s advice is “totally right from scientific and medical grounds” but because of the “unfairness” to young people, he is giving them the green light to travel.