Community Welfare/Women's Department NEWS

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Travelling to Ireland during the COVID-19 pandemic

Publication

Travelling to Ireland during the COVID-19 pandemic

From Department of the Taoiseach 

Published on 23 July 2020

Last updated on 11 March 2021

What you have to do before you arrive into Ireland from abroad

The government advises against all non-essential international travel.

All travellers coming into Ireland must:

  • complete a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form
  • provide evidence that you have a negative or ‘not detected’ result from a COVID-19 Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test carried out no more than 72 hours before you arrive into Ireland, or have evidence that you are exempt from this legal requirement

What to do if you travel to Ireland from high risk ‘category 2’ countries

If you travel to Ireland from any of the high risk countries, you must complete a 14-day quarantine period which must be undertaken at the address specified on the COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form. You must complete the full 14 days of quarantine - regardless of whether you have a negative test result.

The list of high risk countries is as follows:

African countries

  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • Burundi
  • Cape Verde
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Eswatini
  • Mauritius
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Republic of South Africa
  • Rwanda
  • Seychelles
  • Tanzania
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

South American countries

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Suriname
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela

Other countries

  • Austria
  • United Arab Emirates

If you do not fulfil the legal requirement for mandatory quarantine you are committing an offence, and can be fined up to €2,500 or get a prison sentence of up to 6 months, or both.

You may only leave your place of residence during the quarantine period for unavoidable reasons of an emergency nature to protect a person’s health or welfare, to leave the State, or to avail of a test when requested to do so in writing by the HSE.

You should phone any GP or GP out of hours service to arrange a free COVID-19 testing provided by the HSE. Two test are required: the first as soon as possible after arrival in Ireland (Day 0); the second ten days later (Day 10). You may leave your quarantine to take these tests. However, you must complete the full 14 day period of quarantine regardless of the test results.

Very limited exemptions apply to travellers from the requirement to complete this mandatory quarantine:

  • patients travelling for urgent medical reasons
  • international transport workers in possession of an Annex 3 Certificate; Drivers of Heavy Goods Vehicles; Aviation and maritime crew
  • Gardaí/defence forces, while carrying out their duties
  • travel to the State pursuant to an arrest warrant, extradition proceedings or other mandatory legal obligation
  • travel necessary to provide services essential to or to perform the function of an office holder or elected representative
  • transit passengers who arrive for the purposes of travelling to another state, and who do not leave the port or airport

Passenger Locator Form

If you are coming to Ireland from overseas, including if you are travelling onwards to Northern Ireland, you must complete a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form. This is available online.

If you don't fill out this form you can be fined up to €2,500 or get a prison sentence of up to 6 months.

You must also fill out this form if you arrive via Northern Ireland and have been overseas in the 14 days prior to your arrival in Ireland.

An exemption from completing the form is in place for providers of essential supply chain services such as hauliers, pilots and maritime staff.

Once you have arrived here you must comply with the health restrictions in place in Ireland.

Passengers travelling to Northern Ireland must ensure that they are familiar with the guidance and regulations in place, including the completion of a UK Passenger Locator Form.

Requirement for a pre-departure COVID-19 RT-PCR test

If you are arriving into Ireland (except if your journey originates in Northern Ireland) - you must have a negative/‘not detected’ result from a pre-departure COVID-19 Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test carried out no more than 72 hours prior to your arrival in Ireland.

You will be asked to show evidence of this negative or 'not detected' result before boarding the airplane or ferry from the country you are travelling from and will be denied boarding if you cannot produce such evidence. Once you arrive in Ireland - you have to provide this evidence to Irish immigration officers.

You should retain the written confirmation of your test result for at least 14 days.

If you arrive without evidence of a negative or 'not detected' RT-PCR test or a valid exemption - this is an offence and you can be fined up to €2,500 or get a prison sentence of up to 6 months. You will also be required to take a RT-PCR test after arrival at your own expense. It will be an offence not to take this test.

Exemptions – travellers who do not need to provide evidence of a pre-departure test

International transport workers, including workers in aviation, maritime and road haulage sectors are exempt from this requirement where they are travelling in the course of performing their duties.

Passengers who arrive in Ireland solely for the purpose of travelling onwards to another state and do not leave the port or airport are not required to provide evidence of a test.

Patients travelling for urgent medical reasons.

Children aged 6 and under.

If a citizen has a genuine humanitarian emergency requiring urgent travel, and might not be able to obtain the result of a pre-departure RT-PCR test in time, they should contact the nearest embassy or consulate immediately for advice and consular assistance before commencing their journey.

Quarantine requirements

A legal requirement to quarantine has been introduced for all travellers (except if your journey originates in Northern Ireland) – with very limited exceptions.

This applies for all arrivals from 4 February 2021:

  • 14-day quarantine period must be undertaken at the address specified on the Passenger Locator Form
  • persons who travel from another country to Ireland, and arrive via Northern Ireland, must also observe the mandatory quarantine regime

If you do not fulfil the legal requirement for mandatory quarantine you are committing an offence, and can be fined up to €2,500 or get a prison sentence of up to 6 months, or both.

You may only leave your place of residence during the quarantine period for unavoidable reasons of an emergency nature to protect a person’s health or welfare, or to leave the State.

You may leave to take a RT-PCR test no less than 5 days after your arrival – if you receive written confirmation that the result of this test is negative/ ‘not detected’ your period of quarantine can end.

You must retain the written confirmation of your test result for at least 14 days.

If your journey began in any of the Category 2 countries , you must complete the full 14 days of quarantine – regardless of whether you have a negative test result.

Limited exemptions from mandatory quarantine

There some limited exemptions from the requirement to complete mandatory quarantine:

  • patients travelling for urgent medical reasons
  • international transport workers in possession of an Annex 3 Certificate; Drivers of Heavy Goods Vehicles; Aviation and maritime crew
  • Gardaí/defence forces, while carrying out their duties
  • travel to the State pursuant to an arrest warrant, extradition proceedings or other mandatory legal obligation
  • diplomats, or travel to perform the function of or provide services to an office holder or elected representative
  • transit passengers who arrive for the purposes of travelling to another state, and who do not leave the port or airport

The following may temporarily leave their place of quarantine when necessary to perform their essential function – and only for as long as strictly required:

  • a person required to carry out essential repair, maintenance, construction or safety assurance of critical transport infrastructure, critical utility infrastructure, manufacturing services, information services, or communication services
  • a member of staff of an international organisation, or person invited, carrying out functions required for the proper functioning of such organisations and which cannot be carried out remotely
  • a passenger who has been provided with written certification by Sport Ireland related to an internationally important competitive level event
  • journalists, carrying out their professional functions

Source: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/b4020-travelling-to-ireland-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/?fbclid=IwAR3_1d511MkerMFokOsC82YDMTaRp2gQZPshPKmSY3NUxcNWXNMdpaEARmc#what-to-do-if-you-travel-to-ireland-from-high-risk-category-2-countries