Travel to Ireland: latest Covid rules and practical guidance


Fully vaccinated Britons are allowed to visit Ireland restriction free.

Ireland became the first country in Europe to allow entry to vaccinated British arrivals without the need to take any tests, either on arrival or departure, or to isolate.

“We are pleased to confirm this change in arrangements to welcome British visitors to Ireland from 19 July. The Covid pandemic has been tough on everyone and these changes will afford many people an opportunity to reconnect with family and friends in a way that hasn’t been possible for a long time,” said Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland.

While freedoms will be enhanced for double-jabbed travellers, anybody yet to receive a full course of the vaccine will still be required to provide proof of a negative PCR test and quarantine for up to 14 days on entry.

Indoor hospitality reopened on July 26 in Ireland, but will only be available to those who are fully vaccinated or with proof of recovery from Covid-19 in the past six months. Those staying in hotels have been able to use restaurant and bar facilities within the property from July 19. 

Below we lay out the rules regarding testing, quarantine, and passenger locator forms on arrival in Ireland from the UK.

How are cases looking in Ireland?

The current case rate per 100,000 on a seven-day average is 181.23. In the UK that number is 332.5 per 100,000.

How is the vaccination drive going in Ireland?

As of October 4, 96.9 per cent of the population have received a first dose and 84.8 per cent have received a second dose.

Do I need to take a test before I travel to Ireland?

Since July 19, those with evidence of two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine will not need to take a PCR test before entering Ireland.

Tourism Ireland clarified on July 15: “Passengers without proof of vaccination will require evidence of a negative RT-PCR test result within 72 hours prior to arrival in Ireland and will have to quarantine for 14 days or a minimum of 5 days if they prove negative with a second PCR test provided by the Health Service Executive in Ireland on day 5.

What about children?

Tourism Ireland stated: “From 19 July, children under the age of 12 will not need to take a PCR test prior to travelling to Ireland. However, children aged 12 to 17, who are not fully-vaccinated, will need to show a negative RT-PCR test result on arrival in Ireland, even when travelling with fully vaccinated adults.”

Do I need to fill a Passenger Locator Form in Ireland?

Yes. All arrivals must complete a Passenger Locator Form in advance of arriving in Ireland. You can find the form, here. This includes information on your recent travel history and the accommodation where you will spend your 14-day quarantine.

Do I need to quarantine on arrival in Ireland?

If you have received two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine 14 days before travel, no.

Non-double-vaccinated passengers must enter a mandatory 14-day quarantine on arrival. However, in a scheme similar to the UK’s Test to Release you can end your quarantine if you take a test five days after arrival and receive a negative result. You will need to carry proof of your negative result until 14 days after arrival in Ireland.

St Colman's Cathedral and Cobh harbour

St Colman’s Cathedral and Cobh harbour

Credit: Walter Bibikow/Digital Vision

What if I fly into Northern Ireland and then drive into Ireland?

You still need to fill a Passenger Locator Form, and the same quarantine and test rules apply for those who do not have full vaccination status. 

Do I need to take a test before returning from Ireland to the UK?

No. You do not need to take a test 72 hours before your flight or ferry home, if you began your journey in Ireland. 

Do I need to self-isolate on my return home to the UK? 

No. The FCDO says: “You do not need to take a Covid-19 test or quarantine on arrival in England if you are travelling within the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, (the Common Travel Area), and you have not been outside of the Common Travel Area in the previous 10 days.”

Do I need to fill in a Passenger Locator Form on return to the UK?

No. The same applies for the Channel Isles and the Isle of Man

Rock of Cashel

Rock of Cashel is one of Ireland’s most visited tourist attractions

Credit: David Maurer/Getty

What are Covid restrictions like in Ireland?

Pubs and restaurants are open for outdoor and indoor hospitality; however, only those with double vaccination status or proof of recovery from Covid-19 will be able to take advantage of indoor hospitality.

The Irish government recommends that face coverings are worn in crowded workplaces, places of worship and in busy or crowded outdoor spaces where there is significant congregation

Am I still covered by travel insurance, if I do visit Ireland?

The FCDO does not advise against all but essential travel to Ireland, meaning your travel insurance should still be valid. Always check the terms and conditions of your policy before you travel.

Are flights to Ireland operating?

Yes. But not many. British Airways is listing direct services from Heathrow to both Cork and Dublin, and Ryanair has flights from Stansted to Dublin.

What about Northern Ireland?

Since May 24, you have been able to go to Northern Ireland from the Common Travel Area (UK, Republic of Ireland, Channel Isles and Isle of Man) without restriction. You can find out more information here.

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