Get us in your inbox

Photograph: Shutterstock

Ireland has reopened to travellers – but only from certain ‘safe’ countries

The country’s government says travellers from ten less-affected nations can now enter without having to self-isolate

Huw Oliver

Travel to Ireland was, like everywhere else in the world, very much off the cards for a good chunk of this year. But in late July, the Emerald Isle took its first tentative steps towards allowing international travel again – lifting restrictions on a so-called ‘green’ list of less-affected countries across the globe.

The Irish cabinet is meeting fortnightly to update the list, and the country is currently allowing in citizens and residents from ten countries and territories, without them having to quarantine as before.

The list of ‘low risk’ nations is as follows: Estonia, Finland, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Slovakia. Quarantine-free travel across the border with Northern Ireland remains possible.

Anyone travelling from a country not on the ‘safe’ list will still have to self-isolate for 14 days and fill out a form with contact and accommodation details. This means that for the time being, it won’t be possible to travel freely to Ireland from the UK (except via Northern Ireland), the USA, Australia or other countries.

All visitors to the country are now required to fill out a ‘passenger locator form’, or risk a €2,500 (£2,220, $2,970 or A$4,040) fine.

And despite the loosening of restrictions, travel continues to be discouraged. Announcing the new ‘green list’, a government statement read: ‘The pandemic is not over and the public health advice remains the same. The safest thing to do is not to travel.’ So even if you’re on the ‘safe’ list, it’s probably best to hold tight on that Irish getaway for now.

Remember, many countries are still warning against all non-essential travel and some are quarantining all overseas arrivals, including their own returning citizens. Check all the relevant restrictions before you think about travelling.

Where can you travel right now? Here’s what you need to know.

How safe is flying right now? We asked an expert.

Latest news