Travelling abroad

Introduction

Some countries have restrictions in place for travellers. You should check the public health advice, document requirements and restrictions that are in place in the country you are going to. Each country has different entry requirements. Some countries may require proof of vaccination for COVID-19 while others no longer require it.

You can use the EU Digital COVID Certificate to show that you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 if you are travelling to the United States for example. Always check the entry requirements of your destination before you travel.

Travelling to China

If you are planning to travel to China, you should consult the Department of Foreign Affairs Travel Advice. Currently, Irish citizens are advised to avoid non-essential travel to China.

If you are travelling to China, you should wear a face mask for the full duration of your journey. You should also ensure that you are up-to-date with all your COVID-19 vaccinations before you travel. There are no mRNA vaccines or other non-Chinese vaccines available in China.

Before you travel

Check travel advice and entry requirements for your destination

Check the travel advice and entry requirements for the country you are travelling to before you travel abroad.

You might need a visa, this depends on your destination. You can find out if you need a visa on the Department of Foreign Affairs website.

Is your passport in date?

Check that your and your families’ passports are in date before you book. Passport Online is open to all applicants. You can get information on how to renew your passport or how to apply for your child’s first passport.

The latest passport turnaround times are available on the Passport Service's website.

Do you have travel insurance?

You should get travel insurance for yourself and your family. If you have a travel insurance policy already, or travel insurance is included in your health insurance policy, you should check that you are covered for hospital treatment for COVID-19.

You should bring your European Health Insurance Card with you if you are travelling to the EEA or Switzerland. You cannot use your EHIC in the UK. But you can still get the healthcare you need. You will need to show your Irish passport to the GP or hospital. Make sure that it is in date, it has to be renewed every 4 years and each family member needs their own. An EHIC does not replace travel insurance.

If you need emergency consular assistance abroad

If you need help while you are abroad, you can contact the Irish embassy or consulate in that country.

Driving abroad

If you plan to drive while abroad, make sure that your Irish driving licence is valid and that you bring it with you.

Some countries outside the European Economic Area (the member states of the European Union, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) may require you to hold an International Driving Permit (IDP) in addition to your Irish driving licence.

See the IDP application form (pdf) for a full list of countries that recognise the permit.

Always make sure you are properly insured for driving while overseas.

Get more information on driving abroad from the Road Safety Authority.

Page edited: 10 January 2023