Travelling to Ireland Amid COVID-19: Current Entry Rules & Restrictions

U2, the Cranberries, Sinead O’Connor, Van Morrison, or Hozier are not the only reasons that made Ireland so famous through the years.

The country that has the harp as its national symbol, collecting some of the world’s oldest harps at Trinity College in Dublin, which shows that music is among the top features of this place.

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

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Ireland has registered over 349,770 COVID-19 infection cases. Still, despite such figures, at present, authorities in Ireland have eased some of their restrictions imposed to halt the further spread of the virus.

However, when planning to head to this country, travellers must carefully follow all the entry rules and current restrictions.

Who Can Enter Ireland Amid the Ongoing COVID-19 Outbreak?

On July 19, authorities in Ireland launched the EU Digital COVID Certificate, following the example of other European countries, in order to facilitate the travel process within the European Union and the European Economic Area as well as the Schengen Zone countries.

However, Ireland’s government clarified that it would also welcome visitors from Great Britain, the United States, and Canada, provided that they hold valid proof of vaccination or evidence of recovery from the virus in the last 180 days.

Ireland’s Ministry of Health has stressed that travel to Ireland from specific countries is subject to compulsory quarantine.

According to the same Ministry, citizens from the following countries are subject to mandatory hotel quarantine.

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador (passengers who are not fully vaccinated will enter quarantine starting from 04.00 on Tuesday, August 31)
  • Peru

The Ministry of Health in Ireland has clarified that there are no countries from Europe, Africa, Asia, North America, or Oceania on the list of designated countries for mandatory quarantine.

“It is important to note that the list of designated States will be subject to change at short notice, and passengers are required to check the list before travelling to Ireland, to be sure of their obligations,” the Irish Ministry of Health has noted.

Which Vaccines Are Approved for Use in Ireland?

Ireland’s government accepts vaccines that are approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), specifically Comirnaty (BioNTech, Pfizer),  Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), and Moderna Vaxzevria ( AstraZeneca, Oxford).

Anyway, all EU Member States are permitted to decide if they want to allow internationals that have taken any of the vaccines not approved by EMA to enter their countries or not.

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

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

  • hold proof of vaccination,
  • a negative COVID-19 PCR test result, not older than 72 hours,
  • or proof that they have recovered from the Coronavirus in the past 180 days.

Children between the ages of 12 and 17 will have to present a negative result of the PCR test, not older than 72 hours, before arrival, despite being accompanied by fully vaccinated or recovered adults.

Travellers from Great Britain who do not obtain a valid proof of vaccination must prove that they tested negative for the virus by showing a negative result of the PCR test, not older than72 hours, quarantine for two weeks, and undergo post-arrival testing that will be provided through Irish Health Service Executive.

“Before arriving in Ireland, you must complete a Passenger Locator Form. The form will be checked before your departure to Ireland – by your airline or ferry company – and you may be asked to show your vaccination certificate. Upon arrival in Ireland, spot checks will be carried out on proof of vaccinations and/or negative RT-PCR tests,” the statement published by Tourism Ireland clarifies.

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

Those who do not have any valid proof of vaccination must follow testing and quarantine rules that are valid for travellers from the EU and Great Britain.

The same rules apply to the EU, Great Britain, and the US or Canada when travelling with children.

Last month, authorities in Ireland announced that travellers who wish to travel outside Ireland would have to pay for PCR tests if their reason for travel falls into non-essential categories, such as tourism. At the same time, the government announced that vaccinated travellers would start receiving their EU Digital COVID-19 Vaccination Passports.

What to Expect When Visiting Ireland?

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

Persons who enter pubs and restaurants are obliged to present proof of vaccination. Even though vaccinated persons have welcomed such requirements, those who have not been immunized against the disease called such a decision discriminatory.

After a short break in a restaurant where travellers can taste the delicious and unique Irish food, travellers can continue to explore the fantastic cities of Ireland and their ancient history.

Ireland Travel Insurance

Internationals are urged to purchase travel insurance to save most of their money in case their trip gets cancelled for emergency reasons or due to the COVID-19 situation. The same also covers unforeseen situations as getting ill during the trip and accidents.

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

Current COVID-19 Situation in Ireland

Ireland has recorded the second-highest rate of Coronavirus infections in Europe, over the last two weeks, according to the latest data provided by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Based on the figures published by ECDC, Ireland has a two weeks 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,, reports.

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

The figures published by WHO show that 5,092 people in Ireland have died from the virus up to this point.

Ireland has registered a total of 1,706 new cases of infections in the last 24 hours.

Like many other countries, authorities in Ireland also imposed entry bans and other restrictions since the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak in order to protect citizens’ health and prevent an upsurge in the number of infections, especially from the Delta variant that recently has profoundly affected many countries.

However, despite the current figures provided by WHO and ECDC, authorities in Ireland could further relax their restrictions within six weeks, according to the chief medical officer (CMO).

As recently reported, Chair of the Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, Philip Nolan, stressed that there is another four to six weeks to go before the maximum protection from the virus is reached.

Even though Digital COVID Certificate could still be required for international travellers, it is hoped that the inoculation rates within six weeks will mean it would be safe that such documents would not be needed for most domestic use.