Traveling to Ireland during COVID-19

Below you will find the current regulations and safety recommendations for traveling to Ireland during COVID-19.

Is traveling 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. Based upon the current COVID-19 infection rates/levels in Ireland right now, the US Department of State has placed Ireland on a level-one travel advisory (exercise normal precautions).


So let’s help you access your comfort with traveling right now.

  • Are infection and hospitalization rates higher or lower in your local community?
  • 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?
  • Are you comfortable with the current restrictions in Ireland and do not think that they will negatively impact your trip?
  • If you were to become sick in Ireland and unable to return home, would you be able to manage your finances, healthcare, and time away from work?

If you are comfortable with the answers to those questions, then you are ready to travel to Ireland. 🥳

Eating and Traveling in Ireland during COVID-19

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 social limitations 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

Travelers do not need any documentation of recovery or negative test results to return to the US.

Returning to Canada during Covid-19

Starting October 1, 2022, all COVID-19 border requirements, including vaccination, mandatory use of ArriveCAN, and any testing, and quarantine/isolation requirements will end for all travellers entering Canada whether by land, air or sea.

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.

There are no restrictions, testing, or vaccination requirements to travel between the two countries.

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 give 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.

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.

Spanish Armada Lookout Co. Mayo Ireland

Is traveling to Ireland During COVID-19 Worth it?

Since Ireland opened up to international visitors in July of 2021, I have worked with many families, couples, and solo travelers. Traveling to Ireland during COVID-19 is not without its challenges, but those that ventured out had the best time.

That’s not to say there isn’t risk. I’ve had more than one family contract the virus during their short trip. While quarantining in Ireland isn’t so terrible, it certainly wasn’t a part of their original plans.

Ireland is a safe place to travel as any. 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

Stephanie Chastain with bag and hat

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. ❤️