Travelling abroad during COVID-19

Introduction

From 19 July 2021, you are allowed to travel abroad for non-essential purposes.

You can use the EU Digital COVID Certificate if you are travelling within the EU and EEA to show that you are fully vaccinated, or have tested negative or have recovered from COVID-19.

You should check the COVID-19 restrictions that are in place in the country you are going to. You should do this even if you are travelling to an EEA country.

You can read about:

EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC)

If you are travelling within the EEA, you should carry the EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC).

A DCC will show if you are:

  • Vaccinated against COVID-19
  • Recovered from COVID-19 in the past 6 months, or
  • Have a negative RT-PCR test result taken no more than 72 hours before arrival

You can still travel without the DCC, but it will be easier to show that you satisfy the COVID-19 testing and quarantine rules in the country you are going to by showing your DCC.

You can read more in the European Commission’s EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) certificate factsheet and Questions and Answers about the EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC).

Before you travel

You should read the latest government advice on travelling abroad before you travel and check the travel advice on your country of destination. Some countries have closed their borders or may require you to self-isolate or restrict your movements when you arrive.

Passports

Passport Online is open to all applicants. There is a delay to processing times as they are working to clear applications. If you have to travel urgently, you can contact the Passport Office through webchat.

Travel to the EEA

If you are travelling to the EEA (the EU, plus Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein), you should check the European Centre of Disease Control’s map (EU traffic lights system).

This map is updated weekly by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and categorise regions as green, orange, red or grey depending on their COVID-19 rates of infection.

Re-open EU has information about current COVID-19 restrictions and laws in EEA countries. Laws and restrictions may change while you are away (both in the country where you have travelled to and in Ireland), and you should check for new information regularly.

You should bring your European Health Insurance Card with you if you are travelling to the EEA or Switzerland.

Travel outside the EEA

If you are travelling outside the EEA, you should get travel insurance. 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.

The Irish Government advises against travelling to countries where an ‘emergency brake’ has been applied. If you choose to travel to one of these countries, your travel insurance may not apply (unless you can prove your travel was for an essential reason). You may have to quarantine in a hotel if you return from a designated country or a country where an emergency brake has been applied, unless you are fully vaccinated.

Work and social welfare

Going abroad may affect your social welfare payment. You should also check with your employer whether you will be paid if you have to restrict your movements on your return.

When you return

You should check the latest information on travel restrictions to Ireland before you travel back.

When you arrive back into Ireland you must:

  • Complete a Passenger Locator Form.
  • Have proof that you are either fully vaccinated or recently recovered from COVID-19. If you do not have either, you must have a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of your arrival. The best way to prove that you have been vaccinated, or have recovered, or have tested negative is with a DCC.

You may have to quarantine in your home unless you are exempt. You can stop home quarantine once you get a negative RT- PCR test, taken no less than 5 days after arrival. Stricter advice applies for people arriving back from certain countries, you may have to quarantine at a hotel.

Read more about travelling to Ireland during COVID-19.

Page edited: 19 July 2021