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.