Tánaiste Simon Coveney has insisted Ireland will follow its own public health advice on lifting travel restrictions rather than be bound by EU guidelines.
Speaking after the EU Commission unveiled plans to lift travel restrictions between member states with similar levels of Covid-19 infection, Mr Coveney insisted the easing of restrictions was a matter for individual countries.
"Tourism is a vital sector across the EU, employing more than 30 million people, and Ireland welcomes, and was part of, the European Commission's work to protect this part of our economy," Mr Coveney told the Irish Independent.
"When it comes to the current Covid-19 health restrictions, they are a matter for national governments, and our guidelines are clear and have been drafted on the advice of our public health experts," he added.
In guidelines published yesterday, the Commission recommended that travel could soon resume between member states and regions with a "similar risk profile" based on their control of the virus and the capacity in their health service.
Responding to the plan to restart travel and tourism across the continent, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the "very strong advice" from the Government was that anyone entering the country needs to quarantine, with the exception of certain key workers.
"We're going to strengthen that over the next couple of weeks," he said.
Mr Varadkar said it would be "months" before air travel for business and leisure will return.
"We're an island nation, we're a globalised economy. We need to return to business and leisure travel at some point, but that really is premature at this stage.
"So it makes sense that the European Union and the aviation authorities are thinking about that, thinking about how we can return to safe air travel in the future. But you know that's months rather than weeks away.
"I hope it'll be this year, but it's certainly going to be months rather than weeks."
Meanwhile, Fine Gael TD Emer Higgins said allowing airline passengers the option of filling in a form on where they will self-isolate is an "insult" to the families of those who have died from Covid-19.
Ms Higgins made the remarks in the Dáil after it was discussed that a third of people arriving in Ireland over a six-week period refused to give details of where they were staying to allow authorities confirm they were self-isolating.
The Government is now examining proposals to make the forms mandatory, with follow-up checks by gardaí to ensure passengers are self-isolating at their declared accommodation. However, Ms Higgins questioned if this goes far enough.
She said progress in halting the spread of the disease was fragile and "there's a very real threat posed at our ports".
"Passengers can waltz through our airports, claim they are travelling to Northern Ireland, and not have to [comply] with any restrictions, regardless of the threat they pose to this island."
She said it was less than three months since the first passenger with Covid-19 travelled through Dublin Airport.
"A small number of passengers like this brought this virus to our shores. We now have over 23,000 confirmed cases and tragically 1,500 deaths."