Can I travel abroad during COVID-19?

It is now possible for people in Ireland to travel abroad. However, there are still some rules to be aware of and they vary depending on where you are travelling to.
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If you must travel, there are certain restrictions in place for both leaving and entering the country. The type of guidelines you will need to follow depend on where you are travelling to or from.

What do I need to do before travelling?

Due to recent changes to the COVID restrictions, it is now possible for people in Ireland to travel abroad. However, there are still some rules to be aware of and they vary depending on where you are travelling to.

Travelling within Europe

You can now travel from Ireland to the EU, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein without the need for quarantine if you have an EU Digital Travel Certificate (DCC). You can receive a DCC if at least one of the following applies to you:

  • You have been vaccinated against COVID-19
  • You have received a negative test result no more than 72 hours before arrival
  • You have recovered from COVID-19 in the last six months

The DCC is free and comes in digital and paper form. Read more about the EU Digital COVID Certificate.

It is still possible to travel without a DCC if you meet certain conditions. If you wish to travel without a DCC, or if you have a DCC that won’t be accepted in your destination country (e.g. antigen tests are not accepted everywhere), you will need proof of a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival.

Whether or not you have a DCC, you will still need to follow the restrictions that are in place in the country you are travelling to and from. Before you go on your trip, get up to date information about the travel restrictions in place on the ReOpen EU website.

Travelling outside of Europe

If you are travelling to a country that does not accept the Digital Covid Certificate, it is likely that you will face different restrictions. It is important that you inform yourself about any restrictions or requirements in the country you’re travelling to. It is possible that you will need to show proof of a vaccine, proof of a negative test result or quarantine on arrival.

Find out what you need to do when arriving in another country by selecting the country you’re travelling to from this drop down list.

Do I have to quarantine when I return to Ireland?

The guidelines you will need to follow depend on where you are travelling from and your vaccination status. 

If you arrive in Ireland from an EU country, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland or Liechtenstein and have a DCC, you will not be asked to quarantine. 

If you arrive in Ireland from outside the EU and you have proof of vaccination, you will not need to do any quarantine or testing. However, if you do not have proof of vaccination, you will need to show proof of a negative PCR test result within 72 hours before your arrival, self-quarantine or undergo post-arrival testing.

Everyone coming to Ireland must fill in a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form online before arrival. You can be fined up to €2,500 or face up to 6 months in prison, or both, if you do not fill it in.

Mandatory hotel quarantine in Ireland

If you are arriving into Ireland from or via a designated state, you must enter mandatory hotel quarantine in a designated facility. This must be pre-booked and pre-paid before you travel. Reservations can be made on the Quarantine Hotels Ireland website. It is important to be aware that the list of designated states may change at short notice. If you are planning on travelling to Ireland, make sure to check the list before travelling to be sure of your obligations.

Those required to undergo mandatory hotel quarantine will be met by members of the Defence Forces on arrival, regardless of whether you travel by air or sea. They will ensure you are transported from your port of entry to the location in which you will complete your pre-booked mandatory hotel quarantine.

Once you have completed the period of mandatory hotel quarantine, you will receive a letter of completion and will be free to leave the facility. The quarantine period may be reduced if you get a negative PCR test on day ten of quarantine. The cost of testing for COVID-19 is included in the mandatory hotel quarantine fee.

Mandatory hotel quarantine is a legal requirement, which means you can be fined up to €2,000, face up to one month in prison, or both, if you do not complete it or if you leave the facility without authorisation.

Find out about exceptions to the mandatory hotel quarantine rule.

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