Travelling to Ireland during COVID-19

Introduction

You should not travel to Ireland unless you have an essential reason for your travel.

If you have to travel to Ireland, you must have proof of a negative or ‘not detected’ COVID-19 Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test taken within 72 hours of your arrival.

By law, you must quarantine when you arrive into Ireland, unless your journey starts in Northern Ireland. Mandatory hotel quarantine is in place for arrivals from certain countries – see 'Who has to quarantine?’ below.

EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC)

From 19 July 2021, Ireland plans to operate the EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) for travel originating within the EU and EEA.

A DCC will show if you are:

  • Vaccinated against COVID-19
  • Recovered from COVID-19 in the past 9 months, or
  • Have a negative RT-PCR test result taken no more than 72 hours before arrival

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).

What are essential reasons for travel?

You should only travel to Ireland if you have an essential reason for doing so.

If you have an essential reason to travel to Ireland, you may still have to quarantine.

Essential family travel does not include social visits, but may include:

  • Caring for children
  • Caring for 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 funeral

Essential business travel covers people whose presence in Ireland is critical to the functioning of a business.

Other essential reasons for travel include:

  • To go to college or school if you have to be there in person
  • To go with a child or a vulnerable adult to school if they have to be there in person
  • To go to a medical or dental appointment, or to go to an appointment with someone you live with, or a vulnerable person
  • To seek essential or urgent medical, health or dental services, or to accompany someone you live with, or a vulnerable person who needs essential treatment

Pre-departure test

Almost all passengers arriving into Ireland or transiting through an Irish port or airport must have a negative or ‘not detected’ COVID-19 Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR test) taken no more than 72 hours before your arrival. Antigen or other test types do not meet the requirements.

If you have been vaccinated against COVID-19, you must still have a negative or 'not detected' RT-PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before your arrival.

If you arrive at an Irish airport or sea port without proof of a negative or ‘not detected’ COVID-19 test, you are committing an offence.

People arriving from any country without a negative or not detected (RT-PCR) test taken within 72 hours will have to quarantine at a hotel.

Children under 7 do not need COVID-19 tests and there are some other exceptions.

You should read the latest travel advice before travelling to Ireland.

Passenger Locator Form

If you arrive into Ireland from another country, including if you are travelling onwards to Northern Ireland, you must fill in an online COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form before you arrive.

You must also fill out this form if you arrive in Ireland through Northern Ireland and were overseas in the 14 days 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 over the next 14 days, you must email passengerlocatorform@plf.ie with your updated information.

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

  • Working in defined essential supply chain roles
  • A foreign diplomat

Failure to complete this form is an offence.

Visas

You should check if you need a visa for travelling to Ireland. Some nationalities that did not previously need a visa, must now apply for a visa to come to Ireland. Visa applications are only being processed for essential travel.

Who has to quarantine?

By law, you must quarantine when you arrive into Ireland from abroad. If you arrive from certain countries, or do not have a not-detected RT-PCR test as required, you have to quarantine in a designated hotel.

You must quarantine if you travel to Ireland through Northern Ireland. Quarantine rules do not apply if your journey starts in Northern Ireland.

There are two types of quarantine:

  • Quarantine in your home – for all arrivals unless the person is exempt from quarantining, or arriving from a designated country.
  • Mandatory hotel quarantine – This is for arrivals from certain countries and for anyone who arrives from abroad without a not-detected RT-PCR test.

Quarantine in your home or place of residence

You must quarantine for 14 days at the place of residence stated on your Passenger Locator Form.

You can stop quarantining if you get a not-detected RT-PCR test, taken 5 days after your arrival or as soon as possible after those 5 days.

If you arrive from Great Britain, and you are not fully vaccinated, you can only stop quarantining if you get an additional negative or not detected RT-PCR result for a test taken at least 10 days after your arrival. This applies if you have been in Great Britain any time in the 14 days before coming to Ireland. Both tests are free of charge.

You can book a free COVID-19 test for a date at least 5 days after your arrival through the HSE Test Booking website. You should arrange the test before you arrive in Ireland and keep written confirmation of your test appointment until you receive the results. If you receive written confirmation of a negative or ‘not detected’ RT-PCR test result, you no longer need to quarantine. However, you must keep the written confirmation of your test result for at least 14 days.

If the country you arrived from is later added to the list of designated countries, (within 14 days of your arrival) you must quarantine at home or in your place of residence for up to 14 days. You can leave quarantine if you get a negative test after 10 days.

You must quarantine at home or at your place of residence even if you have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

If you do not quarantine, you are committing an offence. You may only leave your place of residence during your quarantine period in very limited circumstances, such as:

  • For unavoidable reasons of an emergency nature
  • To protect a person’s health or welfare
  • To leave the State
  • To get a COVID-19 test at least 5 days after your arrival

Mandatory hotel quarantine

Stricter rules apply to arrivals into Ireland from designated countries. This list is subject to change at short notice.

You must complete the full 14 days of quarantine. This may be reduced if you get a negative COVID-19 test after 10 days.

If you arrive in Ireland from a designated country you must have made a booking to stay at a quarantine hotel. It is an offence to arrive in Ireland without a quarantine hotel booking if you have been in a designated country at any time in the 14 days before your arrival.

Summary of quarantine measures if you are travelling to Ireland

If I am? Where do I need to quarantine?
Travelling from a designated country You must quarantine in a designated hotel.

You may leave after 10 days if you get a negative or not detected RT- PCR test.

Arriving into Ireland without a negative or 'not detected' RT-PCR test

You must quarantine in a designated hotel.

You may leave once you get negative or not detected RT- PCR test.

You must then follow same rules as a person if arriving from any country not on the designated list (see box below) and quarantine at home for either 14 days or until you have a negative or not-detected result from a RT-PCR test taken 5 days after arrival.

Arriving into Ireland from countries other than Great Britain (not on designated country list) You must quarantine at home or in your place of residence.

You may stop quarantining after 5 days if you get a negative or not-detected RT-PCR test.

Fully vaccinated, including arrivals from Great Britain You must quarantine at home or in your place of residence.

You may stop quarantining after 5 days if you get a negative or not-detected RT-PCR test.

Not fully vaccinated and have been in Great Britain at any time in the 14 days before arriving in Ireland You must quarantine at home or in your place of residence.

You must get 2 RT-PCR tests: The first after 5 days, the second after 10 days.

You may stop quarantining after 10 days if you get a negative or not-detected RT-PCR test

Exceptions from hotel quarantine

You do not have to complete hotel quarantine in some situations.

If you have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and have documents to prove this.

Other exceptions to hotel quarantine are:

  • People travelling to Ireland for urgent medical reasons
  • People who have travelled abroad for imperative and time-sensitive medical reasons. You must have a certificate from your doctor
  • People arriving who have a mandatory legal obligation, for example, an arrest warrant or an extradition order
  • Gardaí or defence forces carrying out their duties
  • Diplomats or elected representatives carrying out essential functions
  • Transit passenger who do not leave the port or airport before leaving the State
  • International transport workers in defined essential supply chain roles
  • People who have travelled in circumstances where it was impossible for you to secure a RT-PCR test result before travelling and you are in possession of written confirmation from the Minister for Foreign Affairs that you have an urgent humanitarian reason for so travelling

Additional exemptions are:

  • People travelling to the State to compete in a Sports Ireland certified sports event
  • A child who was not born in the State and has never previously been in Ireland, travelling for the purpose of becoming ordinarily resident in Ireland (and any adult resident and dependant person accompanying that child)
  • People travelling to Ireland to provide essential services which have been certified by a state body

Exceptions to quarantine at home

If you travel to Ireland to perform an essential function, you are allowed to leave your place of quarantine temporarily and for as long as you need to do the essential function. This applies to:

  • Workers carrying out essential repair, maintenance, construction or safety assurance of critical transport infrastructure, critical utility infrastructure, critical public services, manufacturing services, information services, or communication services
  • Workers of international organisations (or people invited by the organisation), who carry out functions needed for the proper functioning of the organisation that cannot be carried out remotely
  • People with written certification by Sport Ireland related to an internationally important competitive level event
  • Journalists carrying out their work

Travel restrictions in Ireland

Since 10 May 2021 you can travel outside your county.

You can travel to the airport or port if you are leaving Ireland to return to where you normally live.

Page edited: 16 June 2021