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Ireland Travel Restrictions - What to know

Ireland Travel Restrictions - What to know

Posted by Rowan Sexton on 16th May 2024

Ireland Travel Restrictions - What you need to know

cliffs of moher

If it isn't already, Ireland needs to be on your short list for future travels. The Irish people are some of the warmest and friendliest I have met in my entire life. The food, especially their Irish breakfast, is out of this world (there's more than just potatoes and whiskey there, although what's wrong with potatoes and whiskey??). And, from coast to country side, Ireland offers some of the best views the world has to offer.

Whether it's your first time, or one of many trips, traveling to Ireland is truly a magical experience, but there are a few things you need to know about travel restrictions due to COVID-19. In this article, I will break down the information you'll need to travel there depending on which country you're coming from, your COVID-19 vaccination status, and the nature of your stay.

(Please note that the following guides are for the Republic of Ireland. Northern Ireland follows a different protocol that will be outlined below.)

Visiting from North America

Whether you are vaccinated or not, you will need to fill out a form called a Passenger locator form. This form will be checked prior to your departure to Ireland by your airline. In this form you will indicate whether you are traveling with your:

  • Vaccination card
  • Medical proof of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 180 days
  • Evidence of a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of your arrival to Ireland.

Vaccinated folks traveling to Ireland from North America still have certain restrictions but the process is fairly straight forward, assuming you have valid proof of vaccination. Vaccinated folks are able to skip the mandatory 14 day quarantine and forego the post-arrival testing entirely. Before arriving to Ireland, you have to complete the above mentioned Passenger locator form that indicates you are traveling with your proof of vaccination. As soon as you enter the country you will be asked to show your proof of vaccination and, after that is verified, you are free to experience Ireland!

Unvaccinated folks have a few more hoops to jump through, but it is still possible to travel to Ireland! Instead of showing proof of vaccination, you'll have to follow all three requirements dictated by the Republic of Ireland's travel restrictions.

They are:

  • Provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test (specifically a RT-PCR test) taken within 72 hours prior to your arrival in Ireland. Important to note: this test has to be dated with 72 hours of your departing flight TO Ireland, so if you have any connecting flights make sure to take the test within 72 hours of the last leg of your trip.
  • Self-quarantine for 14 days. You will need to rent a hotel that allows for self quarantining and head straight there (no stops) from the airport after going through customs. You'll be responsible for your own food during those two weeks, I would suggest ordering groceries to save on take out costs!
  • Undergo post-arrival testing. This is provided by the Health Service Executive in Ireland.

White cliffs of dover trail

Visiting from the EU

Traveling from the EU has less restrictions as those coming from North America, in that it is not required that you are vaccinated. Ireland has adopted the EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) for travel between EU countries which allows for those who have (a):

  • Vaccination card
  • Medical proof of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 180 days
  • Evidence of a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of your arrival to Ireland.

Those with one or more of the three items listed above will be granted access into Ireland, or any country participating in the DCC. You will still need to fill out a form called a Passenger locator form. This form will be checked prior to your departure to Ireland by your airline or ferry. In this form you will indicate which of the items listed above you own and intend to show for entry into Ireland.

cliffs with rainbow

Visiting from Great Britain

Whether you are vaccinated or not, you will need to fill out a form called a Passenger locator form. This form will be checked prior to your departure to Ireland by your airline. In this form you will indicate whether you are traveling with your:

  • Vaccination card
  • Medical proof of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 180 days
  • Evidence of a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of your arrival to Ireland.

Vaccinated folks traveling to Ireland from Great Britain still have certain restrictions but the process is fairly straight forward, assuming you have valid proof of vaccination. Those who have been vaccinated are able to skip the mandatory 14 day quarantine and forego the post-arrival testing entirely. Before arriving to Ireland, you have to complete the above mentioned Passenger locator form that indicates you are traveling with your proof of vaccination. As soon as you enter the country you will be asked to show your proof of vaccination and, after that is verified, you are free to experience Ireland!

Unvaccinated folks have a few more hoops to jump through, but it is still possible to travel to Ireland! Instead of showing proof of vaccination, you'll have to follow all three requirements dictated by the Republic of Ireland's travel restrictions.

They are:

  • Provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test (specifically a RT-PCR test) taken within 72 hours prior to your arrival in Ireland. Important to note: this test has to be dated with 72 hours of your departing flight TO Ireland, so if you have any connecting flights make sure to take the test within 72 hours of the last leg of your trip.
  • Self-quarantine for 14 days. You will need to rent a hotel that allows for self quarantining and head straight there (no stops) from the airport after going through customs. You'll be responsible for your own food during those two weeks, I would suggest ordering groceries to save on take out costs!
  • Undergo post-arrival testing. This is provided by the Health Service Executive in Ireland.

Northern Ireland village

Traveling to Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is operating a system of green, red and amber countries and the measures in place will depend on the countries you are traveling from or passing through. From 2 August 2021, if you’re coming to Northern Ireland from the United States you must follow the amber vaccinated arrivals policy . If you have been fully vaccinated in the US, you will need to take a day two test upon arrival; however, you will not have to quarantine or take a day eight test. You must be fully vaccinated, with a vaccine authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the USA; and you must have had your final dose of the vaccine at least 14 days before you arrive in Northern Ireland. Visitors can present a CDC card as proof of vaccination. A requirement to prove residency, in addition to the CDC card, for US arrivals may be required.

You can find more details on the Northern Ireland Government website.

If you’re concerned about how the situation will affect your travel plans, we recommend that you check with your airline, tour operator, cruise line or transport and accommodation providers.

We suggest that tourism businesses on the island of Ireland looking for information about COVID-19 and its impact on travel go to the relevant sections on the websites of Fáilte Ireland and Tourism NI. Up-to-date information and guidance on COVID-19 in Northern Ireland can be found on the website of the official Public Health Agency Northern Ireland. Information and support in the Republic of Ireland can be found on the website of the Health Service Executive. For the latest travel advice, please visit the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade.

Ireeland country dunluce castle sunrise