COVID-19 restrictions in Ireland


Restrictions have been in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19. These restrictions have affected most aspects of life in Ireland.

Resilience and Recovery: The Path Ahead is the Government’s plan to gradually lift COVID-19 restrictions and allow the economy to reopen.

Many people who lost their jobs or were unable to work during the pandemic are getting the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. The scheme closed to new applicants on 8 July 2021, and the rate of payment will be gradually reduced from 7 September 2021.

Summary of recent and upcoming changes to restrictions

From 19 July 2021:

  • International travel for non-essential purposes resumed.
  • Ireland adopted the EU Digital COVID Certificate for travel within the EU and EEA.
  • Nursing home residents can have 2 visitors at a time, with no restrictions on the duration or frequency of the visits.

From 26 July 2021:

  • Indoor service in bars and restaurants reopened with restrictions (see below for more details)

From 5 August 2021:

  • Up to 100 guests can attend a wedding
  • Baptisms can take place, but gatherings afterwards are not recommended

Rules for indoor dining

Indoor service in bars and restaurants reopened on 26 July 2021.

To access indoor service, you must show proof that you are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 6 months. Children under 18 who are dining with you do not need proof of vaccination or recovery. You may be asked for proof that your child is under 18.

Proof of immunity and identification

You can use your EU COVID Digital Certificate (DCC) or your HSE vaccination record as proof. You need to have photo identification to show that the proof of vaccination or recovery belongs to you.

You can use the following as identification:

  • Driving licence
  • Passport
  • Student card
  • Garda age card
  • Irish Residence Permit (IRP)
  • National identity card
  • Any other official document that includes your photo and was issued outside of Ireland

If you do not have a DCC or HSE vaccination record (because you are visiting Ireland from another country for example), you can use an official vaccination record issued by the country where you were vaccinated or tested for COVID-19.

Important things to know

A maximum of 6 people aged 13 and over are allowed per table. The maximum number allowed per table including children aged 12 and under is 15 people.

In addition:

  • 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, and not at the bar or counter
  • If you do not have proof of vaccination or recovery, or you cannot show that the proof you have belongs to you, the bar or restaurant should refuse admission.
  • Live music and dancing are not allowed
  • One member of your group must give their details to the pub or restaurant for contact tracing.

Restrictions in place now

You should continue to work from home where possible.

Meeting with people at your home

If your household is not fully vaccinated, you can have visitors indoors from one other unvaccinated household.

If you are fully vaccinated, you can meet indoors with people from one unvaccinated household if they are not at risk of severe illness and no more than 3 households are there.

Fully vaccinated people can visit together indoors with no limit on numbers. This also applies to people who had a positive COVID-19 test in the past 9 months. This is called the vaccine bonus.

Meeting with people outside your home

Restaurants and bars are open for outdoor service for groups of up to 6 people, not including children under 13. See also 'Rules for indoor dining' above.

Outdoor organised events can take place with up to 200 people in attendance. 500 people can attend events in venues with a capacity of 5,000 or more.

Shops and services

All shops and retail can reopen.

Cinemas and theatres can reopen.

Personal services (like hairdressers) can reopen by appointment.

Property viewings can take place by appointment only.

Driver Theory Test Services can partially re-open (25,000 tests per month with related opening of driver test centres)

Nursing homes

Nursing home residents can have 2 visitors at a time, with no restrictions on the duration or frequency of the visits.

Domestic travel

You can travel anywhere in Ireland. Public transport can operate at 75% capacity.

Hotels, bed and breakfasts, self-catering and hostels can reopen. Indoor services, such as bars and restaurants, are for overnight guests only.

International travel

From 19 July 2021:

Weddings and funerals

Up to 50 people can attend a wedding service and reception. This will increase to 100 guests from 5 August 2021.

Funerals can have up to 50 mourners regardless of the size of the venue.

Events after a funeral service should follow public health measures on household mixing, including visitors to your home and indoor and outdoor dining.

Indoor sports and activities

Gyms, leisure centres and pools can open for individual training. Swimming lessons and classes can take place. Parents or guardians can attend their child’s swimming lessons.

Indoor group activities including summer camps, group exercise and dance are not currently allowed.

Outdoor sport facilities can open, including golf courses and tennis courts.

Outdoor sports training can take place in pods of up to 15. Outdoor matches can take place.

High performance athletics approved by Sport Ireland and training for adult inter-county GAA can take place.

Religious services and celebrations

Places of worship are open for religious services for congregations of up to 50 people. Where a place of worship is large enough, and where strict social distancing measures are followed, larger congregations may be allowed (but not for funerals and weddings).

Baptisms, communions and confirmations

Religious ceremonies like communions and confirmations should not take place. Baptisms can take place from 5 August 2021 but gatherings afterwards are not recommended.

Laws and penalties

You can read about:

Page edited: 30 July 2021