Traveling to Ireland during COVID-19 requires keeping up with an almost revolving door of regulations and safety recommendations. We’ve got you covered with the most up to date information below.
Is traveling to Ireland during COVID-19 right for you?
Perhaps you’ve planned, anticipated, and looked forward to the trip for more than two years now. Maybe you’re thinking of a trip but not sure when you’ll ultimately go. Or, it could be that you have your bags packed and just want to make sure you are doing everything right.
Deciding whether to go right now may or may not be easy.
Assess your comfort with traveling to Ireland during Covid-19:
- Check the COVID-19 infection rates/levels in Ireland right now, are you comfortable traveling with the current infection rates?
- Are infection and hospitalization rates higher or lower in your local community?
- Check the US Department of State Travel Advisories. Are you comfortable traveling with the current level (level one being the lowest risk to travel, level five being the highest risk to travel)?
- Do you feel comfortable eating out, going on tours, shopping, or generally being where groups of people could congregate?
- Do you feel comfortable traveling through the airport and sitting on an airplane for an extended period?
- If you were to become sick in Ireland, would you be willing and able to extend your stay to self-quarantine to keep other travelers from becoming sick while you are still infectious?
If you are comfortable with the answers to those questions, then you are ready to travel to Ireland. 🥳
Current on-the-ground Restrictions in Ireland
Ireland may be one of the most proactive countries in Europe in terms of mitigating risk during COVID-19. They had massive restrictions at the beginning of the pandemic, and releasing them has been slow and deliberate.
Almost all Covid-19 Restrictions in Ireland have been removed.
- Masks are no longer required for shops, museums, and other public indoor locations but they are advised on public transportation and in healthcare settings.
- Those with a positive COVID-19 test or symptoms are required to self-isolate for 7 days and mask for days 8-10.
- Those in close contact with the virus but not symptomatic are not required to self-isolate but are advised to wear a mask.
The Irish government has stated multiple times that they don’t want to move backward. If the situation should arise again though, they will put restrictions back into place. While pandemic fatigue has set in for all of us, most Irish are willing to follow the directives to keep everyone safe. As a respectful traveler and guest, I urge you to do the same.
Traveling to Ireland during COVID-19
As of March 6, 2022, you no longer need any special documentation to enter Ireland.
No proof of vaccination or recovery or a negative PCR is required. You do not need to complete any passenger locator forms.
Returning to the United States from Ireland During COVID-19
To return to the United States, you no longer need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test or proof of recovery. You can simply board the plane and come home.
However, the CDC has issued some excellent recommendations for traveling safely like at-home testing before you travel and masking.
Returning to Canada during Covid-19
The Canadian government requires vaccinated travelers to submit their contact information and travel information and vaccination records to the ArriveCan app or web form before they travel.
Unvaccinated travelers are also required to submit pre-departure testing results (taken within 72 hours before travel) and a quarantine plan to the ArriveCan app.
More information can be found at the Government of Canada COVID-19 Travel site.
Where Can I Get an In-Person COVID-19 Testing in Ireland?
If you do need to get a COVID-19 test in Ireland, there are multiple places to get in-person testing. Remember to schedule your appointment in advance.
Dublin Airport Testing Locations:
- Randox: Terminal 2 Short-term Car Park. Dedicated parking is available on Level 5 of the Terminal 2 Short Term multi-story car park (watch this video to prepare yourself for arrival).
- Roc Doc Health Check: Express Green Car Park (drive-through testing); North Terminal (walk-through testing)
Dublin City Testing Locations:
- Randox Travel Centre Docklands: Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin Docklands, Dublin 2; or
- Randox Travel Centre Portobello: Camden Court Hotel, Camden Street Lower, Saint Kevin’s, Dublin, D02 W086 (located on the second floor)
- Citytest COVID-19 Testing Centre: 7/8 City Quay, Dublin 2, D02Y663
- TMB Travel Clinic: Leopardstown Racetrack
Shannon Airport Testing Locations:
- Roc Doc Health Check: Coach Park 2, Shannon Airport, Co Clare, V14 EE06 (drive-through testing)
- Randox Travel Centre: Southern Ring Road, Roxboro Road, Limerick, V94 EDP4
Cork Covid Testing Locations:
- Randox Travel Centre Cork: Tivoli, Cork, T23 E244
Galway City Covid Testing Locations
- Randox Travel Centre Galway: Monivea Road, Ballybrit, Galway, H91 D526
- CLS Galway: Unit 3A, Small Business Park, Tuam Rd, Galway, Co.Galway, H91 H520
Northern Ireland Covid Testing Locations
- Randox Travel Centre George Best Belfast City Airport (and other NI locations): Belfast City Airport, Belfast, BT3 9JH
- Vitalis Health Belfast: 58 Howard Street, Belfast, Northern Ireland, BT1 6PJ
Traveling to/from the Republic of Ireland & Northern Ireland (Common Travel Area – CTA)
Northern Ireland and the Republic have an agreement called the Common Travel Area CTA. You do not need to go through border checks if you are traveling between the two countries.
If you are entering Northern Ireland from the Republic (either vaccinated or unvaccinated), you do not need to quarantine or test.
Protect Yourself: Travel Insurance & Cancellation Policies During the Pandemic
It comes as no surprise that traveling during this time will require flexibility. Between staffing shortages, ever-changing travel requirements, and even the inability to predict our own health, any number of things can change your holiday plans.
Purchasing travel insurance and choosing the most flexible cancellation policies go a long way in protecting your travel investments and giving you peace of mind.
What to look for in your travel insurance policy
To get the most from your travel insurance, purchase a Cancel For Any Reason policy with a COVID-19 travel benefit. This will allow you to (as it says) cancel for any possible reason and get up to 75% of your money back. You will also receive additional medical and travel benefits if you test positive before you leave the country.
Square Mouth is a travel insurance aggregator that I recommend to everyone that I work with one-on-one. They only refer to top-notch insurance companies and they do a great job explaining what each policy covers.
Check the box on the left of the search to include policies that only have benefits for COVID-19 events. More specifically, in the individual search results pay extra attention to the trip delay benefit amount. If you happen to contract the virus and need to quarantine, be sure this amount will cover ten nights of quarantine in Ireland.
Forbes did a great primer about travel insurance policies during the pandemic (scroll beyond the insurance quotes for the details).
Testing Positive for COVID-19 while Traveling in Ireland
Isolation Rules After Testing Positive in Ireland
If you test positive in Ireland, Ireland requires self-isolation for at least seven days. In the following three days, you do not need to isolate if you no longer have symptoms (but you should social distance). The first day of your symptoms is day zero.
Isolation Rules and US Reentry Rules After Testing Positive for COVID-19 Abroad
Medical Assistance in Ireland
If you need more care, there are many general practitioners and several excellent hospital systems in Ireland.
Before traveling to Ireland, connect with your current health insurance provider to see if/when/where they provide coverage in Ireland.
Or when you are in Ireland, connect with your travel insurance provider (because you bought a COVID-19 travel insurance policy right?) to see if they have a recommendation for where you should seek medical help.
Is traveling to Ireland During COVID-19 Worth it?
Since Ireland opened up to international visitors in July of 2021, I have worked with dozens of travelers. Those that ventured out had the best time.
That’s not to say there isn’t risk. One family contracted the virus during their short trip. While you could probably think of worse places to quarantine, it certainly wasn’t a part of their original plans.
Largely, Ireland is a safe place. Their vaccination rates are among the highest in the world. They are quick to react with regulations that will keep the immunocompromised and elderly safe. And perhaps most importantly they are ready and eager to welcome you home.
Planning Your Trip to Ireland
If you don’t already know, I am Stephanie and I help travelers create local and immersive Ireland itineraries that go beyond the ordinary to help them experience a true and authentic Ireland. Grab my Ultimate Ireland Packing List below to get the best packing & pre-trip to-do list, and connect with me for travel tips and Ireland inspiration. ❤️