COVID-19: travel overview

Introduction

The Government has eased restrictions on travel within Ireland.

You should avoid non-essential travel abroad, apart from travel to countries on the 'Green List'. If you are coming to Ireland, this document explains the restrictions and conditions you can expect upon your arrival.

Our document Driving and transport during COVID-19 has the latest information on:

  • License renewals
  • NCT and CVRT
  • Driving tests
  • Vehicle registration
  • Tax and insurance

If you have made plans to travel within Ireland or abroad and want information on your rights if your trip is cancelled, you can read our document Travel plans and COVID-19.

Travelling to Ireland

If you plan to travel to Ireland, you should read the latest travel advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Passenger Locator Form

If you arrive into Ireland from another country, you must fill in a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form. This applies to people arriving from a country that is included on the Government’s 'COVID-19 green list' and people arriving from a country that is not on the 'COVID-19 green list'.

The COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form is now an online form. If you are travelling to Ireland you can complete the form on or before your arrival in Ireland.

The information on the form may be used to contact you to check your location, or to contact you if there is a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 on your flight or ferry.

If any of the information you provide on the form changes in the next 14 days, you must email passengerlocatorform@plf.ie with updated information.

You may be fined up to €2,500 or imprisoned for up to 6 months, or both if you:

  • Do not fill in and submit the form to a relevant person
  • Knowingly provide information that is false or misleading
  • Do not provide further information when requested
  • Do not update your residence details if these change within 14 days of your arrival.

You do not have to fill in this form if you are:

  • Arriving from Northern Ireland
  • Working in defined essential supply chain roles
  • A foreign diplomat
  • A transit passenger who will not be leaving the port or airport

You will only need to fill in part of the form, if you are not staying overnight in the State.

You can read about:

Restricting your movement

You should restrict your movements for 14 days after your arrival. This means you should stay at home and avoid contact with other people and social situations as much as possible. You do not need to restrict your movements if you are:

  • Arriving from Northern Ireland
  • Aircraft crew, including pilots, in Ireland as part of your work
  • Holder of a Certificate for International Transport Workers, or heavy good vehicle drivers and are in Ireland for work
  • Ship crew, including the maritime master, in Ireland as part of your work
  • Arriving from a ‘normal precautions’ listed country (countries on the ‘green list’)

The Travel ‘Green List’

On 21 July 2020, the Government published a ‘green list’ of countries with a similar or lower incidence of COVID-19 to that of Ireland. People entering Ireland from these locations do not have to restrict their movements for 14 days. The list is intended to act as a guide to where Irish residents may travel safely for essential purposes, such as for essential work or to care for family members.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFA) travel advice for countries on the ‘green list’ is that you should take ‘normal precautions’. This means that the country is as safe as Ireland. The security rating for all other locations remains unchanged at either ‘avoid non-essential travel’ (‘orange’) or to ‘do not travel’ (‘red’).

If you are arriving in Ireland from a country on the Government green list, you should follow public health advice while you are in Ireland. This means you should:

  • Keep 2 metres distance from people
  • Avoid crowded places
  • Wear a face covering if you are on public transport and when you are in a shop or other indoor space where it is difficult to keep 2 metres distance from other people
  • Work from home where possible
  • Wear a face covering when visiting someone who is over 70 or is medically vulnerable to COVID-19

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should self-isolate and contact a GP by telephone.

The green list from 21 September 2020

An update to the green list was published on 17 September 2020 and comes into force on 21 September 2020. After this, the list will be updated every week until a new EU-wide system is agreed.

Ireland will support the European Commission’s proposal to promote a common approach to travel restrictions and movement within the EU/EEA. The European Commission’s proposal is still being finalised, but is expected to be approved in October 2020.

What happens if the country I am visiting is removed from the Government ‘green list’ while I’m there?

If you travel to a country or territory on the ‘green list’ and the country is removed from the list while you are abroad, you will have to restrict your movements for 14 days to minimise your risk of spreading the virus.

Travel abroad

The Irish Government is currently advising against all non-essential travel abroad, apart from countries included on the Government's 'COVID-19 green list' where the advice is to take 'normal precautions'.

If you have booked a trip abroad and want information on your consumer rights, you can read our document Travel plans and COVID-19.

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

Passports

The Passport Service has resumed the processing of online applications for all passport types. You should expect delays to your application.

The processing of Passport Express applications has also recommenced in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The turnaround time for processing paper based applications is 6-8 weeks.

Passport phone lines are now open.

If you urgently need a passport to travel (because of the death or serious illness of a family member, or you need urgent medical treatment abroad), you should contact the Passport Service through webchat.

Travel within Ireland

If you live in Dublin you should not travel to other parts of the country while Dublin is at level 3 of the 'Plan for Living with COVID-19', unless you have to travel for work, education or essential purposes. If you live outside of Dublin, you should avoid travelling to Dublin while it is level 3, unless you have to travel there for work, education or essential purposes.

To encourage people to holiday at home, the Government has introduced a new ‘Stay and Spend Tax Credit’. The scheme allows you to claim a certain amount of tax back on accommodation, food and non-alcoholic drink purchased between 1 October 2020 and 30 April 2021.

This scheme has now opened.

If you have booked accommodation in Ireland and are looking for information on your consumer rights, you can read our document Travel plans and COVID-19.

You can also read about Driving and transport during COVID-19.

Page edited: 21 September 2020