What are the current COVID-19 restrictions in Ireland?

Keep up to date with all the current COVID-19 regulations in Ireland
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illustration of individuals and small groups of people sitting and lying on the grass following covid19 social distancing guidelines

While restrictions have been eased in recent months, Ireland is still living with COVID-19. This means that we will all need to continue to change the things we do in our daily lives in order to reduce the risk of the virus spreading. This is to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities.

The Government has put measures in place in response to COVID-19. As the number of cases rise and fall, these restrictions may change. 

Over the month of September, restrictions will begin to gradually lift. The Government aims to have listed most COVID-19 restrictions by 22 October 2021.

Do I have to wear a face mask?

Wearing a face mask is currently mandatory in certain places. Face masks can help to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

When do I need to wear a face mask?

In Ireland, it is currently mandatory to wear a face mask in shops and when attending services like the hairdresser, barber, salons, cinema, libraries, theatres, bookies, and other retail services.

It is also mandatory to wear a face mask on public transport. Refusing to wear a face mask in any of these places could lead to a fine or imprisonment. Find out more about the rules around face masks in Ireland.

Household visits

How many people you can meet up with depends on whether you and your visitors have been fully vaccinated.

  • If you or anyone in your household are not fully vaccinated, you can have visitors from one other household.
  • If you and everyone visiting is fully vaccinated or has recovered from COVID-19 in the last nine months, there is no limit to the number of people who can visit your home
  • If you are fully vaccinated, you can meet indoors with unvaccinated people provided there is no one at risk of severe illness, and there are no more than three households present.

Are house parties allowed?

If you and everyone in your household are fully vaccinated or has recovered from COVID-19 in the last nine months, there is no limit to the number of people you can invite to your home if every visitor is also fully vaccinated or has recovered from COVID-19 in the last nine months. 

Before deciding to have a social gathering, it is important to take precautions. It can still be possible to get COVID-19 after vaccination, and although your vaccine reduces the risk of serious illness to yourself, you could still infect other vulnerable people.

What does it mean to be fully vaccinated?

It is important to remember that you are not considered fully vaccinated until you have received all doses of your vaccine and have waited the necessary waiting period. Once this waiting period has passed, you are considered fully vaccinated. This means that your vaccine is giving you the highest level of protection it can offer. The waiting period is:

  • 14 days after the Janssen vaccine
  • 15 days after the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine
  • 7 days after the second dose of the Pfizer Vaccine
  • 14 days after the second dose of the Moderna vaccine

Can I go to events?

For the most part, it is possible to go to events both indoors and outdoors, with some restrictions in place.

Can I go to the cinema?

Cinemas are considered controlled indoor events, which means they follow the same guidelines as any other indoor event:

  • If all attendees are fully vaccinated, have recovered from COVID-19 in the past six months, or are an accompanied minor (under 18), events and mass gatherings will be allowed with a 60% capacity limit on venues
  • For events where not all attendees are fully vaccinated, up to 50 people can attend and in pods or groups of up to six if appropriate, and up to 100 people can attend organised indoor events in larger venues where strict social distancing measures can be applied (including 2 metre distancing between seats and one-way systems)

Can I go to a concert?

Live music events have resumed, but they will have to follow the guidelines for indoor and outdoor gatherings listed below:

Organised indoor gatherings

If you’re attending an organised indoor event, here are the restrictions you can expect:

  • If all attendees are fully vaccinated, have recovered from COVID-19 in the past six months, or are an accompanied minor (under 18), events and mass gatherings will be allowed with a 60% capacity limit on venues
  • For events where not all attendees are fully vaccinated, up to 50 people can attend and in pods or groups of up to six if appropriate, and up to 100 people can attend organised indoor events in larger venues where strict social distancing measures can be applied (including 2 metre distancing between seats and one-way systems)

Organised outdoor gatherings

An outdoor gathering that has been arranged by an event organiser, such as an arts or training event, these are the measures in place:

  • If all attendees are fully vaccinated, have recovered from COVID-19 in the past six months, or are an accompanied minor (under 18), outdoor events and mass gatherings will be allowed with a 75% capacity limit on venues
  • For events where not all attendees are fully vaccinated, a 50% capacity limit will apply, and measures like social distancing between groups and wearing masks will need to be followed

What are the current restrictions on weddings?

Up to 100 people can currently attend a wedding ceremony and reception, with live music now allowed at weddings.

What are the current restrictions on funerals?

Up to 50 people can currently attend a funeral. Wakes in private homes and funeral homes can be attended by family only.

Current guidelines surrounding visitors to the home and indoor or outdoor dining should be taken into consideration for any other family gatherings related to the funeral.

Can I attend religious services?

Religious ceremonies can go ahead with 50% capacity, regardless of the vaccination status of attendees

Can I play sports?

The current measures allow people to train and both play in and attend matches.

Indoor training and the gym

Organised indoor group activities like sport and fitness activities can take place, with certain protective measures in place, with the following limits:

  • Classes can take place with limits of 100 people if all attendees are fully vaccinated, have recovered from COVID-19 in the past six months, or are an accompanied minor (under 18)
  • Classes where not all attendees are fully vaccinated, pods of up to six people will be allowed. Number of pods allowed will depend on the size of the venue.

Outdoor training

There are no restrictions on outdoor group activities like training. There may be limits on the number of spectators based on guidelines for organised outdoor events like matches.

Can I go to a match?

If you’d like to attend a match or another sporting event, the following restrictions are in place:

  • If all attendees are fully vaccinated, have recovered from COVID-19 in the past six months, or are an accompanied minor (under 18, matches will be allowed with a 75% capacity limit on venues
  • Matches where not all attendees are fully vaccinated, a 50% capacity limit will apply, and measures like social distancing between groups and wearing masks will need to be followed

Visiting restaurants, pubs and cafes

It is currently possible to go to restaurants and to go to pubs, but there are measures in place.

Outdoor service

Restaurants, bars, cafés and coffee shops are all currently open to everyone for outdoor dining. They will have limited seating available due to social distancing measures.

A maximum of six people aged 13 and over are allowed per table

Indoor service

Indoor service in bars, cafes and restaurants reopened on July 26th for fully vaccinated people. To eat or drink indoors, there are certain things you must provide:

  • You must show proof that you are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 in the past six months
  • Your EU COVID Digital Certificate (DCC) or a HSE vaccination record can be used as proof of vaccination or recovery
  • You also need to have photo identification (such as a passport or driver’s licence) to show that the proof of vaccination or recovery belongs to you.
  • If you are visiting Ireland from another country and do not have a DCC or HSE vaccination record, you can use an official vaccination record issued by the country where you were vaccinated or tested for COVID-19
  • One member of your group must give contact details to the cafe, bar or restaurant for contact tracing purposes

Your proof of vaccination/recovery and identification will be checked at the door of the restaurant, bar or cafe. If you do not have proof of vaccination or recovery, the bar, restaurant or cafe can refuse admission

A maximum of six people aged 13 and over are allowed per table. The maximum number allowed per table including children aged 12 and under is 15 people.

If you are under 18, you do not need proof of vaccination or recovery to dine indoors provided you are there with a fully vaccinated or recovered person.

Other measures:

  • You should wear a face covering when you are not sitting at your table
  • There are no time limits on sittings
  • You can only eat or drink at a table, not a bar or a counter

Are nightclubs open?

All nightclubs, discos and casinos will remain closed.

Can I travel?

There are currently no limits on travelling within Ireland. If you wish to travel overseas, there are certain measures in place.

Are hotels open?

There are currently no limits on travelling within Ireland, and hotels and other forms of accommodation are open provided there are protective measures in place. 

Can I go abroad?

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

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.

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. 

Read more about the current COVID travel restrictions in Ireland.

Can I take public transport?

Public transport is operating at 100% capacity but you will need to wear a face covering.

What retail and services are open?

Shops, shopping centres, supermarkets, and services like hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons are all open. 

All of these businesses will need to have protective measures in place, and you will need to wear a face mask to attend.

Can I go to the hairdresser or barber?

Hairdressers and barber shops are open by appointment. 

Museums, galleries and libraries

Museums, galleries and libraries are now permitted to open if they have protective measures in place.

School, college and work

If you are in school, college or you are working, it’s good to be aware of the current measures in place.

Are schools and colleges open?

Schools and colleges are open, but there will need to be protective measures in place.

Can I work from my office?

Staff can begin to return to the office on a staggered basis.

Are childcare facilities open?

Childcare facilities like creches, childminding and pre-schools are open with protective measures in place. Outdoor playgrounds and play areas are also still open.

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