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If you are looking for information about holidays on the island of Ireland, please visit Ireland.com.

01 Jun 2021

COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Unprecedented efforts are under way to safeguard public health and limit the spread of COVID-19 on the island of Ireland. Current government advice in the Republic of Ireland is to avoid non-essential international travel. From 19 July 2021, depending on the prevailing public health situation at the time, Ireland will operate the EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) for travel originating within the EU/EEA. Please read below for guidance on travel to Northern Ireland. Tourism Ireland continues to monitor the situation closely.

Republic of Ireland
All passengers arriving in Ireland are required to complete a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form (PLF). All passengers are also required to have a negative/‘not detected’ result from a pre-departure COVID-19 Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test (only this kind of test is acceptable) taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Ireland. Passengers will be asked to present evidence of their negative/‘not detected’ result before boarding their airplane or ferry; and will be required to produce this evidence to immigration officers on arrival at points of entry to the State. Children aged six and under are exempt from this requirement.

All passengers arriving in Ireland (other than those from Category 2/‘Designated States’) are also currently legally required to home quarantine for 14 days. This quarantine must be undertaken at the address specified on the Passenger Locator Form. Only very limited categories of passengers can be exempt from this legal requirement. A test can be taken on day five of quarantine and if written proof of a negative result is received, then the quarantine period is permitted to end.

Separate requirements are in place in respect of Category 2 countries (‘Designated States’). Please see here for the current list of Designated States.  Any passenger who has been in any Designated State in the previous 14 days, even if only transiting through one of these countries and even if remaining airside, is legally required to quarantine at a designated facility (mandatory hotel quarantine) on arrival in Ireland. For further information, please see the Government of Ireland website gov.ie.

Passengers who are fully vaccinated, and have the documents to prove that, do not have to complete mandatory hotel quarantine. Any dependents, including children, will also be exempted from the requirement to complete mandatory hotel quarantine. However, even if passengers are fully vaccinated, they still have to have a negative RT-PCR test taken in the 72 hours before departure and complete a period of self-quarantine at home or the location specified in their PLF. More information can be found here.

Passengers arriving in Ireland from EU/EEA: from 19 July 2021, subject to the prevailing public health situation, Ireland will operate the EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) for travel originating within the EU/EEA. A DCC will show if a passenger:
- is vaccinated against COVID-19;
- has recovered from COVID-19; or
- has a negative test result
Passengers arriving in Ireland with a DCC will not have to undergo quarantine.

However, passengers with a DCC based on a non-PCR test (for example, antigen), or those arriving without a DCC, will require proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival. Children aged between 7 and 18 who have not been vaccinated must also have a negative PCR test.

All passengers will be advised to observe public health restrictions and to present for post-arrival testing if they develop symptoms of COVID-19.

Passengers arriving in Ireland from outside EU/EEA: from 19 July, Ireland will also broadly align itself to the EU approach to non-essential travel to the EU from third countries. The approach to travel outside the EU/EEA will also apply to travel from Great Britain and the United States.

To protect its citizens against importation of variants, an ‘emergency brake’ mechanism will be coordinated at EU level, to react swiftly to the emergence of a variant of concern or variant of interest. Government advice will be to avoid travel to/from a country where the ‘emergency brake’ has been applied.

Northern Ireland
Passengers arriving in Northern Ireland from within the Common Travel Area (which includes the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man and Channel Islands) do not need to self-isolate upon arrival. However, if staying overnight in Northern Ireland, passengers should take a rapid lateral flow device test (LFD) before beginning their journey. Passengers should only travel if the test is negative. They should also take an LFD test on days two and eight of their stay. They should not travel to Northern Ireland if they have COVID-19 symptoms or have received a positive COVID-19 result.

Before travelling to Northern Ireland from outside the Common Travel Area and from a ‘Green List’ country, passengers must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to three days before departure, book and pay for a day two COVID-19 PCR test and complete a UK Passenger Locator form 48 hours before departure. Please see here for the current ‘Green List’ countries.

Passengers travelling to Northern Ireland from an ‘Amber’ country, either directly or via another country, must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to three days before departure, book post-arrival testing, complete a UK Passenger Locator form 48 hours before departure and self-isolate for 10 days. Click here for more information.

Passengers travelling to Northern Ireland from a ‘Red List’ country, or transiting through a ‘Red List’ country in the previous 10 days, must provide proof of a pre-departure negative COVID-19 test, complete a UK Passenger Locator form 48 hours before departure, and book and enter managed isolation (hotel quarantine) for 10 days. Please see here for the current ‘Red List’ countries.

If people arrive in Northern Ireland having travelled through the Republic of Ireland, they must complete a UK Passenger Locator Form. This is in addition to travel information they may be required to provide to travel authorities in the Republic of Ireland.

More information can be found here.

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.