Important COVID-19 travel guidance
From 5 November to 2 December 2020, travelling away from home, including internationally, is restricted from England except in limited circumstances such as for work or for education. Different rules apply in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. You must follow all the rules that apply to you.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides guidance on COVID and non-COVID risks overseas. The FCDO currently advises against all but essential travel to many countries and territories on the basis of COVID risks. You should check the travel advice for your destination.
Travel disruption is possible worldwide. Other countries may bring in new measures with little notice such as border closures, movement restrictions or quarantine rules. Travellers should be prepared to stay overseas longer than planned.
The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.
The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)
Restricting movement on arrival
In general, people are requested to restrict their movements for 14 days when they arrive into Ireland from another country. This applies to all travellers, including Irish citizens and people with no symptoms. Restricting movements on arrival means staying at home and avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible. There is more information on restricting movement on the Irish Government’s website.
Ireland is implementing the EU ‘traffic lights’ approach to travel, which applies to countries in the EU/EEA and UK. In line with the EU ‘traffic lights’ approach a combined indicator map will be published each week by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Passengers from “green” regions are not required to restrict their movements for 14 days on arrival in Ireland. Arrivals from “red’”, “orange”, or “grey” regions into Ireland are requested to restrict their movement for 14 days. At present, this continues to include arrivals to Ireland from Great Britain. Arrivals from Northern Ireland are exempt.
Until further notice, passengers arriving into Ireland from Denmark are requested to self-isolate for 14 days after their arrival, including those travelling for an essential purpose.
Exemptions from restricted movement
People arriving from Northern Ireland and people arriving from a region categorised as ‘green’ under the EU ‘traffic lights’ scheme are not required to restrict their movements. Some other defined categories of arrivals are also exempted. These include:
International Transport Workers, including workers in aviation, maritime and road haulage sectors
Travellers with an essential function or need as set out in paragraph 19 of the EU Council Recommendation, including:
Passengers travelling for the purposes of an imperative business reason, only while carrying out that essential function
Passengers arriving for imperative family reasons, only while pursuing that imperative reason
Returning passengers, who have carried out an essential function in another region, but who have otherwise restricted their movement while in that region
Children aged 6 or under
Passengers arriving from an “orange” region, who have received a negative/’not detected’ result from a COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test taken during the three days before departure to Ireland. Passengers are requested to have supporting evidence of the negative test in their possession.
It is the responsibility of individuals to determine whether their circumstances fall within one of the categories outlined in the EU Council Recommendation.
Passengers can indicate on their Passenger Locator Form if they are travelling with an essential purpose as defined by Council Recommendation 2020/1475 and may be asked for evidence in support of this. For a full list of people who are exempted please see the Irish Government website.
Post-arrival testing of passengers
From midnight on 29 November arrivals from “red”, “orange” or “grey” regions can end their period of restricted movement if they receive a negative /‘not detected’ result of a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test that has been taken a minimum of five days after their arrival in Ireland. Passengers wishing to obtain a post-arrival test should seek an appointment for a test in advance of travel, should note that the test will be provided by private commercial sector testing supply and will be paid for by passengers. Such passengers should wait for their negative test result to be returned before ending the period of restricted movements. Under Ireland’s infectious disease legislation details of a positive post-arrival Covid-19 test result must be provided by the test provider to the HSE public health department for follow-up. Please see the Irish Government website for further details on all of these issues.
From 28 May there is a legal requirement for passengers arriving in Ireland from overseas to complete a Public Health Passenger Locator Form, with penalties for non-compliance as detailed in the form.
The form may be used by health authorities to contact you to verify your location in the country. It will also help contact tracers get in touch with you if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus on your flight or ferry. You must fill in the form before you arrive in Ireland.
Regular entry requirements
Ireland, along with the UK, is a member of the Common Travel Area. British nationals travelling from the UK don’t need a passport to visit Ireland. However, Irish immigration officers will check the ID of all passengers arriving by air from the UK and may ask for proof of nationality, particularly if you were born outside the UK. You are therefore advised to take your British passport with you.
For more information about the types of ID you might be asked to present, see the website of the Ireland Citizens Information Board.
Before travelling, check with your carrier about their ID requirements, as most airlines and other transport providers won’t carry passengers to and from Ireland unless they’ve seen satisfactory photographic ID.
If you’re using a passport to enter Ireland, it should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you don’t need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this.
UK Emergency Travel Documents
UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry into, transit through, and exit from Ireland.