COVID-19: travel overview
This document explains the current travel advice for international and domestic travel during COVID-19, as well as the restrictions and conditions you can expect upon your return to Ireland.
Our document Driving and transport during COVID-19 has the latest information on:
- Licence 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.
From Saturday 16 January 2021, all passengers arriving into Ireland must have a negative or ‘not detected’ COVID test (PCR test) taken no more than 72 hours before your arrival. You must restrict your movements for 14 days, unless you are travelling from a country that is ‘green’ or ‘orange’ on the EU traffic lights system. See ‘EU traffic lights system’ below.
If you arrive at an Irish airport or sea port without proof of a negative or ‘not detected’ test, you will be committing an offence.
You do not need a COVID test if you are travelling through Ireland and transiting to another country. This only applies if you do not leave the airport
You should read the latest travel advice before travelling to Ireland.
Arrivals from Great Britain, South Africa and South America
The HSE has updated its advice for people who have arrived in Ireland from Great Britain (England, Scotland or Wales), South Africa or any country in South America. You should self-isolate (stay in your room) for 14 days from the date you arrived in Ireland.
The HSE will contact you using the information you provided on your Passenger Locator Form (see below) so you can get a COVID-19 test.
You must complete the full 14 days of self-isolation, even if your test result is negative (COVID-19 not detected).
You still need to complete 14 days of self-isolation, even if you have already had a private COVID-19 test with a negative (COVID-19 not detected) result.
Passenger Locator Form
If you arrive into Ireland from another country, you must fill in a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form.
The COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form is 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. You must also use the form to tell the Irish authorities that you are coming to Ireland for an essential purpose if applicable.
If any of the information you provide on the form changes in the next 14 days, you must email firstname.lastname@example.org with your 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:
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.
If you come to Ireland from a ‘green’ or ‘orange’ region, you do not have to restrict your movements. Everyone arriving in Ireland must have proof of a negative or 'not detected' PCR test taken within the 3 days before arrival.
If you arrive from a ‘red’ or ‘grey’ region, you can stop restricting your movement if you get a negative or not detected PCR test 5 days or more after your arrival. You must wait until you get the result of your test.
NOTE: this does not apply if you arrived from Great Britain (England, Scotland or Wales), South Africa or any country in South America. You should self-isolate for 14 days from the date you arrived and follow the HSE’s latest advice.
If you are arriving from outside the EEA (other than from South Africa, Great Britain or any country in South America) you should follow the rules for arrivals from ‘red’ and ‘grey’ countries.
You can read more about the new system on the EU Commission's website:
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. You do not have to restrict your movements if you are:
- Arriving from Northern Ireland
- Arriving from a ‘green’ or 'orange' region (see ‘EU traffic lights system above)
- An international transport worker carrying out your work
- Arriving from a ‘red’ or 'grey' region and have evidence that you received a negative or not detected PCR test 5 days or more after your arrival. This exception does not apply if you arrived from Great Britain (England, Scotland or Wales), South Africa or any country in South America. You should self-isolate for 14 days from the date you arrived and follow the HSE’s latest advice.
- Coming to Ireland for essential healthcare
- A traveller with an essential function or need
What is an essential function or need?
If you must travel to Ireland for essential business or family reasons, you do not have to restrict your movements. Essential family reasons does not include social visits, but may include:
- Providing care to children
- Providing care to older or vulnerable people, particularly if they live alone
- Exercising your legal right of access to a child
- Going to a court hearing
- Going to a wedding or funeral
If you travelled outside of Ireland for essential family reasons, you do not have to restrict your movements when you return.
You should say on your Passenger Locator Form if you are coming to Ireland for an essential purpose. You should also bring documents to prove that your travel is essential.
Essential business travel includes those whose presence in Ireland is critical to the functioning of a business.
While you are in Ireland you should follow the current public health measures. You can travel from the airport or port to where you intend to restrict your movements.
If you must travel abroad, you should follow the latest travel advice from the DFA.
If you are travelling to another country in the EEA, or to the UK or Switzerland, you may have to self-isolate or restrict your movements upon arrival. You can find out what you must do before travelling on the DFA’s website. You can check the combined indicator map to see how prevalent COVID-19 is in the country you are going to.
Re-open Europe has information about the restrictions in place in EU countries.
If you have booked a trip abroad and want information on your consumer rights, you can read our document Travel plans and COVID-19.
The Passport Service is not processing passport applications while Ireland is at Level 5 restrictions. If you have submitted an application, it will be processed when Level 5 restrictions end. Updates on services are available on the Passport Service's website.
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 by webchat. Passport phone lines are closed during Level 5.
Travel within Ireland
Every county in Ireland is on alert Level 5 in the 'Plan for living with COVID-19' until 31 January 2021.
You should not travel outside of 5km of your home unless you have to travel for essential work, educational or other essential purposes, such as providing care.
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.