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.

Written by spunout


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, and whether you are fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19.Travel restrictions and measures can change at any time so it’s important to keep up to date with the latest rules.

In this article:

Travelling to other countries from Ireland

Each country will have its own set of measures and restrictions for travellers arriving from other countries. It is important to inform yourself of the measures in place in the country you are travelling to.

Travelling within Europe

Most countries have introduced restrictions for entering the country. These restrictions can change depending on the situation with the virus at different points of the year. It is really important to find out the requirements for the country you are travelling to in advance, including whether or not you need to get a pre-travel PCR/ antigen test and if you will be required to quarantine. Some countries now require all passengers to take a pre-travel COVID-19 test. Find out about the current measures in place in different countries.

To travel within the EU, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, passengers can use an EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC), which proves that one of the following applies to you:

  • You are fully vaccinated against COVID-19
  • You have recovered from COVID-19 within the last six months
  • You have received a negative COVID-19 test (some countries will accept antigen test results while others will require a PCR test result)

Digital COVID Cert Expiry

From 1 February 2022, there is a nine month (270 day) time limit on Digital COVID Certificates issues after the first-round of vaccinations. The first round of vaccinations means one dose of the Janssen vaccine, or two doses of AstraZeneca/ Pfizer/ Moderna vaccines. This time limit does not apply to certificates issued after the booster shot. Learn more about the DCC.

This means that in order for your DCC to be valid, you must have received your most recent COVID-19 vaccine dose within the last nine months. This time limit is only for Digital COVID Certificates based on the first round of vaccines.

If you receive your COVID-19 booster, you will receive an updated DCC. The time limit does not apply to certificates issues after receiving a booster shot.

Travelling without a DCC

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. Find out more about getting tested for COVID-19.

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 from the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Travelling outside of Europe

If you are travelling to a country that does not accept the EU 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.

What documents do I need to travel to Ireland?

If you are fully vaccinated or you have recovered from COVID-19 within the last six months, you will need:

  • Your EU Digital COVID Certificate to prove your vaccination/recovery status, or other acceptable proof that you have been fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine
  • A completed Passenger Locator Form. You will get an email receipt for this, which you will have to show when boarding your flight or ferry

Fully vaccinated or recovered individuals no longer need to provide proof of a pre-travel COVID-19 test in order to travel to Ireland.

If you are not fully vaccinated and have not recovered from COVID-19 within the last six months, you must provide:

  • A negative RT-PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival
  • A completed Passenger Locator Form. You will get an email receipt for this, which you will have to show when boarding your flight or ferry

If you do not get the necessary testing, you may be denied boarding by the airline or ferry in your country of departure.

What is the COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form?

The COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form is a form that must be completed by all people arriving into Ireland. You must complete this form before boarding your flight or ferry and you may be asked for it before boarding. It is important to complete this within 72 hours of arriving into Ireland.

The information on the form may be used to contact you if there is a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 on your flight or ferry.

You need the following details to complete the COVID-19 passenger locator form:

  • Your mobile phone number
  • Your email address
  • Your address in Ireland
  • Information on how you arrived in Ireland (such as the name of airline or ferry and flight or ferry number)
  • Your passport details

You are also asked which of the following you are travelling with:

  • Proof of vaccination
  • Proof of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 180 days
  • Proof of negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours before arrival

You can be fined up to €2,500 or face up to six months in prison, or both, if you do not fill in the COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form. These requirements applies to all passengers from all countries, including those who have proof of vaccination/recovery from COVID-19.

Do I need to do anything once I arrive in Ireland?

All arrivals are advised to take a daily antigen test for the first five days upon arrival in Ireland.

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