COVID-19 restrictions in Ireland


Restrictions have been in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19. These restrictions have affected most aspects of life in Ireland.

Reframing the Challenge, Continuing Our Recovery and Reconnecting is the Government’s plan to end most COVID-19 restrictions.

Many people who lost their jobs or were unable to work during the pandemic are getting the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. The scheme closed to new applicants on 8 July 2021, and the rate of payment will be gradually reduced from 7 September 2021.

Changes in restrictions from October

From 22 October 2021, restrictions on numbers attending the following types of events no longer apply:

  • Weddings
  • Organised indoor and outdoor group activities
  • Religious ceremonies

Organised indoor group activities should take place in pods of up to 6 people where there is a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated people. These pods do not apply if everyone present is vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19.

You will not need to use a vaccination or recovery certificate for outdoor events but other protective measures will be in place.

Hospitality, entertainment and the night-time economy sector, such as nightclubs, can fully reopen with protective measures in place.

These protective measures include:

  • Use of a vaccination or recovery certificate (for example, the EU Digital COVID Certificate) for indoor hospitality and events
  • Social distancing
  • Use of face coverings when not eating, drinking and dancing
  • Table service only in hospitality settings with a maximum of 10 people per table (15 per table including children)
  • Indoor events such as live music and sports events must be fully seated

The return to workplaces will continue on a phased and cautious basis for specific business requirements.

Further guidance will be published for hospitality, workplaces, and cultural and sporting events.

You should continue to self-isolate if you have symptoms of COVID-19.

Current rules for indoor dining

Indoor service in bars and restaurants reopened on 26 July 2021.

To access indoor service, you must show proof that you are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 6 months. Children under 18 who are dining with you do not need proof of vaccination or recovery. You may be asked for proof that your child is under 18.

Businesses can refuse entry if you cannot show proof of vaccination or recovery or you cannot demonstrate that your certificate relates to you. If businesses do not operate on this basis, they may be liable for fines or closure.

Proof of immunity and identification

You can use your EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) or your HSE vaccination record as proof. You need to have photo identification to show that the proof of vaccination or recovery belongs to you.

You can use the following as identification:

  • Driving licence
  • Passport
  • Student card
  • Garda age card
  • Irish Residence Permit (IRP)
  • National identity card
  • Any other official document that includes your photo and was issued outside of Ireland

If you do not have a DCC or HSE vaccination record (because you are visiting Ireland from another country for example), you can use an official vaccination record issued by the country where you were vaccinated or tested for COVID-19.

Important things to know

A maximum of 6 people aged 13 and over are allowed per table. The maximum number allowed per table including children aged 12 and under is 15 people.

In addition:

  • You should wear a face covering when you are not sitting at your table
  • There are no time limits on sittings
  • You can only eat or drink at a table, and not at the bar or counter
  • If you do not have proof of vaccination or recovery, or you cannot show that the proof you have belongs to you, the bar or restaurant should refuse admission
  • Live music and dancing are not allowed
  • One member of your group must give their details to the pub or restaurant for contact tracing.

Restrictions in place now

Returning to work

People who are still working from home can begin to return to the workplace on a phased and staggered basis.

The return to workplaces must be in a cautious and careful way. Attendance should initially be for specific business needs.

Meeting with people at your home

If your household is not fully vaccinated, you can have visitors indoors from one other unvaccinated household.

If you are fully vaccinated, you can meet indoors with people from one unvaccinated household if they are not at risk of severe illness and no more than 3 households are there.

Fully vaccinated people can visit together indoors with no limit on numbers. This also applies to people who had a positive COVID-19 test in the past 9 months.

Restaurants and pubs

Restaurants and bars are open for outdoor service for groups of up to 6 people, not including children under 13. Indoor service is for customers who can prove that they have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 6 months (and accompanied children). See 'Rules for indoor dining' above.

Organised outdoor events

Organised outdoor events can take place with the following attendance limits:

  • Up to 75% full where everyone attending (not including accompanied children) are fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19
  • Up to 50% full where people attending are not all fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19. The venue must make sure that social distancing is in place and that people attending are wearing face coverings.

Different rules apply to weddings (see below).

Organised indoor events

Organised indoor activities include:

  • Live entertainment (also see below for separate rules for theatres)
  • Concerts
  • Conferences and trade fairs
  • Watching indoor sports

Organised indoor events can only take place where people attending are fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 (not including accompanied children). Venues can have up to 60% capacity. Events must be fully seated.

Cinemas and theatres

Cinemas and theatres are open with the following attendance limits:

  • Up to 60% full where everyone in the audience is fully vaccinated or has recovered from COVID-19 (not including accompanied children)
  • Up to 50 people where the audience are not all fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19

Sports and activities

Indoor group activities and venues include:

  • Group exercise
  • Dance classes
  • Non-professional sports training and matches
  • Play centres
  • Amusement arcades
  • Bingo Halls
  • Leisure centres

Indoor group activities can take place with the following limits:

  • Up to 100 people if everyone is fully vaccinated, or has recovered from COVID-19 in the past 6 month
  • In pods of up to 6 people where not all of the people taking part are vaccinated or recovered. The number of pods allowed depends on the size of the venue.

Outdoor group activities can take place without restrictions.

This does not include attendance at organised events (for example, an outdoor concert or sports match). See organised indoor and outdoor events above.

Shops and services

All shops and retail can reopen. You must wear a face covering.

Personal services (like hairdressers) are open by appointment.

Property viewings can take place by appointment only.

Nursing homes

Nursing home residents can have 2 visitors at a time, with no restrictions on the duration or frequency of the visits.

Domestic travel

You can travel anywhere in Ireland. Public transport can operate at 100% capacity.

International travel

Ireland has adopted the EU Digital COVID Certificate.

International travel can resume.


Up to 100 people can attend a wedding service and reception. Live music is permitted.

Religious services and funerals

Places of worship are open for religious services. The place of worship can be 50% full.

Baptisms, communions and confirmations can take place.

Laws and penalties

You can read about:

Page edited: 19 October 2021