The Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) has welcomed recommendations to lift a ban on non-essential travel in and out of Ireland by 1 July.
The Irish government’s Aviation Recovery Taskforce also recommended travellers arriving in Ireland should not be required to self-isolate for a two-week period upon entering the country in a report released earlier this week.
However, government sources told The Irish Times on Thursday (25 June) there is "not a chance" restrictions and quarantine rules will be lifted before the middle of next month.
In its report, the Aviation Recovery Taskforce warned that although Ireland has had the "equivalent or even better success" in containing Covid-19, it is significantly behind other EU countries in lifting restrictions on air passenger travel.
The ITAA said it believes an earlier return to international travel is possible, provided all passengers obey strict social distancing and hygiene guidelines.
Chief executive Pat Dawson said he was concerned the travel sector would be the last industry in Ireland to be given a restart date by government.
"This delay in lifting travel restrictions will further hurt our industry, as Irish customers will be forced to wait to book their holidays, which will in turn drastically slow the recovery of the Irish travel sector,” said Dawson.
"The fourteen day quarantine period will also have a negative economic effect on the travel sector, as well as other sectors such as tourism and hospitality. Using contact tracing measures is a much more beneficial solution, as this will allow for the recovery of these valuable industries.
"It is important to remember the symbiotic relationship between inbound and outbound travel - by easing travel restrictions within the EU this we could work to repair some of the damage done by Covid-19 to the Irish travel sector."