Full vaccination of the intending passenger should be the only criteria. Any person who is not vaccinated, or refuses to take a vaccine, can stick with a staycation here.
Show up at a U.S. airport with your vaccination card and you should automatically be eligible to fly to Ireland. All other rules and regulations such as Covid testing before flying seem out of date with the new data that the vaccine has 95 percent efficacy in some cases.
The vaccine was designed specifically to do a job -- immunize the person against becoming sick with Covid-19.
It has done that job very well with numbers plummeting all over the world with the exception of India and a few other outliers.
Every day, however, progress is being made and Ireland, which opened its shopping thoroughfares on Monday, is slowly re-awakening again.
Likewise, in America, anyone showing up in an Irish airport with proof of full vaccination should be allowed to come to the U.S.
Right now based on the latest numbers, 60 percent of Americans have received at least one vaccine shot, a number that will continue to soar daily. The Centers for Disease Control, the notoriously conservative public health oversight body, surprised everyone last week by saying people who are vaccinated can go without masks inside and out, as well as ignore the six-foot social distancing rule.
The CDC would not have made such an assessment if the risk factor of going unmasked was higher than zero percent.
The problem is, of course, that we are fighting a war where the battlefield changes every day. A few weeks back quarantine when arriving in a foreign country seemed the obvious and well thought out steps. Now, with full vaccination, it appears to be no longer a requirement.
Take the traveler to Ireland who is expected to quarantine for 14 days and take a Covid test during their stay. Most tourists only book for two weeks or so. Quarantine for most of that time despite being vaccinated makes no sense.
Quarantine should no longer apply to Americans who have been vaccinated.
While one understands the caution, the economic cost of another year of no tourists to Ireland, not to mention the impact on the hospitality trade, has been estimated at well over $1 billion by tourism experts.
No one is advocating any unsafe shortcuts, but what is clear is that the vaccines have changed the game and governments are slow to react.
The inability of governments all over the world to handle the virus has been a sobering wake-up call. One shudders to think how badly off America could be if Donald Trump had been re-elected.
There were just 22 million vaccinated on his watch and the interference with the CDC and political gamesmanship had the U.S. teetering on the brink of disaster.
With President Joe Biden the adults took over and 274 million Americans now have had at least one shot, while 123 million have been totally vaccinated.
Those are incredible numbers, and one can see why Biden’s approval rating on vaccines and handling the pandemic is at least 20 points higher than Trump’s best numbers.
The hope here is that the bureaucracies understand the need to factor in livelihoods, family crises, and forever events such as weddings and funerals.
All these can be accommodated now, it seems, by insisting on vaccine proof. Otherwise, we are just going to continue to get it wrong which will be a tragedy for all concerned.