Travelling abroad

COVID-19 rules

Some countries have restrictions in place for travellers. You should check the public health advice before you travel. Check what documents you need to bring and check if any restrictions are in place. Each country has different entry requirements. Some countries may need proof of vaccination for COVID-19 while others no longer need it.

You can use the EU Digital COVID Certificate to show that you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 if you are travelling to the United States for example. Always check the entry requirements of your destination before you travel.

Travelling to China

If you are planning to travel to China, you should consult the Department of Foreign Affairs Travel Advice. Currently, Irish citizens are advised to avoid non-essential travel to China.

If you are travelling to China, you should wear a face mask for the full duration of your journey. You should also ensure that you are up-to-date with all your COVID-19 vaccinations before you travel. There are no mRNA vaccines or other non-Chinese vaccines available in China.

Before you travel

Check travel advice and entry requirements for your destination

Check the travel advice and entry requirements for the country you are travelling to before you travel abroad.

You might need a visa, this depends on your destination. You can find out if you need a visa on the Department of Foreign Affairs website.

Is your passport in date?

Check that your and your families’ passports are in date before you book. Passport Online is open to all applicants. You can get information on how to renew your passport or how to apply for your child’s first passport.

The latest passport turnaround times are available on the Passport Service's website.

Do you have travel insurance?

You should get travel insurance for yourself and your family. If you have a travel insurance policy already, or travel insurance is included in your health insurance policy, you should check that you are covered for hospital treatment for COVID-19.

You should bring your European Health Insurance Card with you if you are travelling to the EEA or Switzerland. You cannot use your EHIC in the UK. But you can still get the healthcare you need. You will need to show your Irish passport to the GP or hospital. Make sure that it is in date, it must be renewed every 4 years and each family member needs their own. An EHIC does not replace travel insurance.

Ireland and Australia have a reciprocal health agreement. This means that Irish visitors to Australia will receive emergency services and assistance towards the cost of prescribed drugs and medicines on the same basis as persons ordinarily resident in Australia.

Irish people travelling in the UK are entitled to access healthcare through the Common Travel Area.

Driving abroad

If you plan to drive while abroad, make sure that your Irish driving licence is valid and that you bring it with you.

Some countries outside the European Economic Area (the member states of the European Union, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) may require you to hold an International Driving Permit (IDP) in addition to your Irish driving licence.

See the IDP application form (pdf) for a full list of countries that recognise the permit.

Always make sure you are properly insured for driving while overseas.

Get more information on driving abroad from the Road Safety Authority.

While abroad

Make a note of the address, telephone number and opening hours of the Irish Embassy or Consulate in the country you are visiting. In countries where there is no Irish diplomatic or consular representation, you may seek emergency assistance from embassies or consulates of other European Union countries. On its website, the Department of Foreign Affairs provides advice on what to do to stay safe while abroad and what to do in an emergency.

Travel tips

Travel tips Before you travel abroad, these are some other tips to help with your journey.
  • Check if you need any vaccines or immunisations before you travel (At least 8 weeks in advance)
  • Make a note of the 24-hour emergency number of your bank so you can cancel your credit card or debit card it if it is stolen.
  • Check your mobile data allowance with your mobile phone service provider. (For travel outside of the EEA).
  • Do you need to bring a special adapter to plug in your electrical devices?

Further information

The Department of Foreign Affairs in Ireland provide travel advice to Irish people planning a trip overseas.

The HSE has information on preventing illness and infection while abroad.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre provides advice for travellers on how to avoid illness on its website.

The World Health Organization has information and advice regarding health and international travel.

Department of Foreign Affairs

80 St. Stephens Green
Dublin 2

Tel: +353 (01) 408 2000

Page edited: 7 February 2023