Traveling to Ireland Amid COVID-19: Current Rules and Entry Restrictions


U2, the Cranberries, Sinead O’Connor, Van Morrison or Hozier aren’t the only reasons that have made Ireland so famous over the years.

The country that has the harp as a national symbol, collecting some of the oldest harps in the world at Trinity College Dublin, which shows that music is one of the main features of this place.

Besides music, Ireland is also known for its land and sea views and delicious food. However, the coronavirus outbreak last year restricted the number of international visitors allowed to enter the country for non-essential purposes, including tourism.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Ireland has recorded more than 349,770 cases of COVID-19 infection. Yet despite such numbers, at present Irish authorities have relaxed some of their restrictions imposed to stop the spread of the virus.

However, when planning to visit this country, travelers should carefully follow all applicable entry rules and restrictions.

Who can enter Ireland amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak?

On July 19, Irish authorities launched the EU’s COVID digital certificate, like other European countries, to facilitate the process of travel within the European Union and the European Economic Area as well than in the countries of the Schengen zone.

However, the Irish government has made it clear that it will also welcome visitors from Britain, the United States and Canada, provided they have valid proof of vaccination or proof of recovery from the virus in the past 180. days.

The Irish Department of Health has stressed that travel to Ireland from specific countries is subject to a mandatory quarantine.

According to the same ministry, citizens of the following countries are subject to a mandatory hotel quarantine.

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador (passengers who are not fully vaccinated will enter quarantine from 4:00 a.m. on Tuesday, August 31)
  • Peru

The Irish Department of Health clarified that there were no countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, North America or Oceania on the list of countries designated for mandatory quarantine.

“It is important to note that the list of designated states will be subject to change in the short term, and passengers are required to check the list before traveling to Ireland, to be sure of their obligations” the Irish Department of Health noted.

What vaccines are approved for use in Ireland?

The Irish government accepts vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), in particular Comirnaty (BioNTech, Pfizer), Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) and Moderna Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca, Oxford).

Either way, all EU member states are allowed to decide whether or not they want to allow internationals who have taken any of the non-EMA-approved vaccines to enter their country.

Currently, the vaccines recognized by the EMA are Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), Comirnaty (BioNTech, Pfizer) and Moderna, Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca, Oxford).

Travelers from European Union countries must complete the Passenger Tracking Form before arriving in Ireland. They will also be required to:

  • have proof of vaccination,
  • a negative COVID-19 PCR test result, less than 72 hours old,
  • or proof that they have recovered from the Coronavirus within the past 180 days.

Children aged 12 to 17 will be required to show negative PCR results no more than 72 hours prior to arrival, despite being accompanied by fully vaccinated or recovered adults.

Travelers from Great Britain who do not obtain valid proof of vaccination must prove they have tested negative for the virus by showing a negative PCR result, dating back less than 72 hours, quarantined for two weeks and undergo post-arrival testing which will be provided through the Irish Health Service Executive.

“Before arriving in Ireland, you must complete a passenger tracking form. The form will be checked before you leave for Ireland – by your airline or ferry company – and you may be asked to present your vaccination certificate. On arrival in Ireland, spot checks will be carried out on proof of vaccination and / or negative RT-PCR tests ”, clarifies the statement published by Tourism Ireland.

Passengers arriving from the United States or Canada are allowed to enter Ireland without additional requirements if they hold valid proof of vaccination.

Those without valid proof of vaccination should follow the testing and quarantine rules that are valid for travelers from the EU and Great Britain.

The same rules apply to the EU, Great Britain and the United States or Canada when traveling with children.

Irish authorities last month announced that travelers who wish to travel outside of Ireland would have to pay for PCR tests if the reason for their trip falls into non-essential categories, such as tourism. At the same time, the government announced that vaccinated travelers will start receiving their digital COVID-19 vaccination passports from the EU.

What to expect when visiting Ireland?

At present, pubs and restaurants in Ireland have resumed operations, after many of them have remained closed since March 2020 due to the rapid spread of the Coronavirus and its new variants. However, travelers are advised to follow the guidelines.

People entering pubs and restaurants are required to show proof of vaccination. While those vaccinated welcomed such demands, those who were not immune to the disease called such a decision discriminatory.

After a short break at a restaurant where travelers can sample the delicious and unique Irish cuisine, travelers can continue to explore Ireland’s fantastic towns and ancient history.

Ireland travel insurance

Internationals are urged to purchase travel insurance to save most of their money in the event their trip is canceled due to emergency reasons or due to the COVID-19 situation. The same goes for unforeseen situations like illness during travel and accidents.

Travelers purchase reasonably priced travel insurance in Ireland from AXA Assistance, MondialCare or Europ Assistance.

Current situation of COVID-19 in Ireland

Ireland has recorded the second highest rate of coronavirus infections in Europe, in the past two weeks, according to the latest data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Based on figures released by the ECDC, Ireland has a two-week infection rate of 496.57 cases per 100,000 people for weeks 32 and 33 of this year, last week as well as this week, Independent.ie reports.

According to figures released by the World Health Organization (WHO), Ireland has reported a total of 349,773 cases of COVID-19 infection since the start of the pandemic.

Figures released by the WHO show 5,092 people in Ireland have died from the virus so far.

Ireland has recorded a total of 1,706 new cases of infection in the past 24 hours.

Like many other countries, the Irish authorities have also imposed entry bans and other restrictions since the start of the coronavirus epidemic in order to protect the health of citizens and prevent a surge in the number of infections, in particular the Delta variant which has recently deeply affected many countries.

However, despite current figures provided by the WHO and ECDC, Irish authorities could further ease their restrictions within six weeks, according to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO).

As Independent.ie recently reported, the chairman of the Irish Epidemiological Modeling Advisory Group, Philip Nolan, stressed that there are still four to six weeks until maximum protection against the virus is reached.

Even though the COVID digital certificate might still be required for international travelers, it is hoped that vaccination rates within six weeks will mean that it would be safe if such documents are not needed for most household uses.


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