COVID-19 restrictions in Ireland

Introduction

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.

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

Upcoming changes to restrictions

From 5 December 2021

Travelling to Ireland

Note: Changes to testing rules for travelling to Ireland that were due to happen on 3 December 2021 have been delayed until Sunday 5 December 2021.

From Sunday 5 December 2021, all arrivals aged 12 and over who are fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 must provide either of the following:

  • A negative or not detected antigen test (taken within 48 hours before arrival)
  • A negative or not detected RT-PCR test (taken within 72 hours before arrival)

The test result must be certified and not self-administered.

If you are not fully vaccinated or recovered, you must show a negative or not detected RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours before your arrival. Read more about travelling to Ireland.

From 7 December 2021

Household visits

Household visits are limited to three households in total (not including the household that is being visited).

Pubs and restaurants

  • A maximum of 6 people over 18 are allowed per table
  • Multiple table bookings are not allowed
  • Table service only
  • One metre distance must be kept between tables
  • You must wear a face covering when not at your table

Organised events

Attendance is limited to 50% of a venue’s total capacity. This includes indoor sporting events, concerts, cultural and entertainment events. Events must be fully seated and face coverings must be worn except when eating or drinking.

Nightclubs

Nightclubs must close.

Gyms, leisure centres, hotel bars and restaurants

You need to have proof of immunity (for example, the EU DCC) to go to a gym, leisure centre, or to a hotel bar or restaurant.

You must be fully vaccinated, or recovered from COVID-19

PUP payment

The COVID Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) will be reinstated for those who are affected by these changes.

Pubs and restaurants

The rules for pubs and restaurants will change from 7 December 2021. See ‘Upcoming changes to restrictions’ above.

To access indoor service such as restaurants and pubs, you must show proof that you are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 6 months (proof of immunity). 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. Minors (people under 18) who are alone must show vaccination certs or proof of immunity.

Businesses can refuse entry if you cannot show proof of vaccination or immunity or you cannot show that your certificate relates to you– for example, by showing photo id. If businesses do not do this, 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.

Hotels

You do not need to show proof of immunity to use the bar and restaurant in a hotel or guesthouse, if you are a registered guest. Residents of hotels can order drinks after midnight to drink in their rooms.

Important things to know about pubs and restaurants

A maximum of 10 people aged 18 and over are allowed per table. The maximum number allowed per table including children aged under 18 is 15 people.

In addition:

  • Pubs and restaurants must close at midnight
  • You should wear a face covering when you are not sitting at your table
  • There are no time limits on sittings
  • You can order or collect food or drink at a service counter or bar, but you cannot sit or eat there
  • 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
  • One member of your group must give their details to the pub or restaurant for contact tracing
  • Multiple table bookings are allowed
  • If you do not have proof of immunity, you can sit in an outdoor section of the pub or restaurant

Nightclubs and indoor live entertainment

Nightclubs must close from 7 December 2021.

Nightclubs and live entertainment can reopen with 100% capacity for people with proof of immunity. Standing capacity at live concerts and live entertainment is restricted to 1500 people.

In addition:

  • Clubs and venues must close at midnight
  • You can buy drinks at the bar, but venues must make sure that people who are queuing for drinks keep one metres distance from each other.
  • You must wear a face covering when you are not drinking, eating or dancing.
  • Tickets must be secured in advance at least one hour before arrival at the event. If the venue operates as a pub or restaurant up to a certain time, and has dancing or live entertainment later, you can stay in the venue. You must still get a ticket to attend the dancing or live entertainment starts.

You can read the full guidance on nightclubs and live entertainment.

Restrictions in place now

Testing and close contacts

Fully vaccinated close contacts should get tested. You can use antigen tests. If you are a household close contact, you also need to restrict your movements.

Different rules apply to unvaccinated close contacts and children.

Face coverings

Read the rules on face coverings.

Returning to work

You should work from home unless it is necessary for you to attend the workplace in person.

Organised events

Organised outdoor events and activities have no limits on numbers. You do not need a vaccination or recovery certificate for outdoor events but other protective measures should be in place.

Organised indoor events include:

  • Conferences and trade fairs
  • Watching indoor sports

Organised indoor events have no limits on numbers where everyone attending has proof of immunity.

Cinemas and theatres

Cinemas and theatres are open with 100% capacity. You must have proof of immunity to go to the cinema or theatre. (Accompanied children do not need to show proof of immunity).

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

Outdoor group activities have no limits on numbers. Organisers should have protective measures in place.

Organised indoor group activities should take place in pods of up to 6 people where there is a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated people. For children, sports training should take place in pods of 6. Pods can be adjusted for indoor games, matches and competitions only.

These pods do not apply if everyone present is vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19.

Shops and services

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

Personal services (like hairdressers) are open by appointment.

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

Read about testing and quarantine requirements for travelling to Ireland.

Weddings

No limits on numbers attending a wedding service and reception. Live music is permitted. Receptions in hotels, restaurants and other licenced venues must finish at midnight.

Religious services and funerals

Places of worship are open for religious services with no limits on numbers attending. Protective measures must be in place.

Baptisms, communions and confirmations can take place.

Laws and penalties

You can read about:

Page edited: 3 December 2021