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. 

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.

Can I see my friends?

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

  • There is no limit to the number of people who can visit your home provided you and everyone visiting is fully vaccinated or has recovered from COVID-19 in the last nine months
  • If you or anyone in your household is not fully vaccinated, you can have visitors from one other household.

Are house parties allowed?

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

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

Before deciding to have a house party or any 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.

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?

Seeing a movie at the cinema is considered a controlled indoor event, which means you can go to the cinema right now. The same is true for events in theatres like plays or small music gigs. These events will have to follow the guidelines for organised indoor gatherings.

Organised indoor gatherings

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

  • Up to 50 people can attend and in pods or groups of up to six if appropriate
  • 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)

A number of trial indoor events will take place over the coming weeks, with larger numbers allowed in some cases.

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:

  • Up to 200 people can attend organised outdoor gatherings
  • Up to 500 people can attend if the outdoor venue normally has capacity for 5,000 people, so long as there are strict protective measures in place

What are the current restrictions on weddings?

Up to 50 people can currently attend a wedding ceremony and reception.

What are the current restrictions on funerals?

Up to 50 people can currently attend a funeral.

Can I attend religious services?

Up to 50 people can attend religious services, and there will need to be special measures in place, including social distancing and one-way systems.

Can I play sports?

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

Can I train?

Outdoor training in groups of a maximum of 15 people is allowed. For indoor training, gyms, leisure centres and pools can open for individual training only. Indoor group training such as fitness classes or summer camps are not currently allowed. 

Can I go to a match?

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

  • Up to 100 people can watch a match inside
  • Up to 200 people can watch a match outside
  • Up to 500 people can watch a match outside in stadiums where there is normally capacity for 5,000 people

Can I go to the gym?

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools are open for individual training only, so long as there are protective measures in place.

Visiting restaurants and pubs

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 in operation but you will need to wear a face covering. The capacity is limited, and everyone is asked to avoid peak hours if possible.

It is encouraged to walk or cycle where possible.

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?

It is recommended to work from home if possible. If you would like to go into the office, you can do so for specific business requirements, and your attendance will need to be staggered to avoid too many people in the office at once.

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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