Travel to Ireland was, like everywhere else in the world, very much off the cards for a good chunk of the past year. But the Emerald Isle is ready to welcome travellers from outside the EU this summer with significantly relaxed restrictions.
Starting July 19, Ireland will adopt the European Union’s Covid-19 certificate, which allows vaccinated visitors or those who have had negative tests or recovered from the virus to travel freely around the bloc. Ireland will also apply these measures to some countries outside the EU, which means that vaccinated US and UK travellers can head to Ireland without having to be tested or quarantine.
Currently, Ireland has some of the strictest travel rules in Europe. It advises against all non-essential travel, imposes fines on people heading to airports to go on holiday and enforces a two-week mandatory hotel quarantine for arrivals from 50 countries. And while Americans are technically allowed in right now, they must have proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of their arrival and must quarantine for 14 days.
When the country does relax restrictions on July 19, all travellers from outside the EU — including those from the US and UK — will have to show proof of vaccination to skip quarantine. Unvaccinated children between seven and 18 years old will have to show proof of a negative coronavirus test. Unvaccinated tourists from outside the EU must arrive with proof of a negative test and still self-quarantine before taking a second test.
Once in Ireland, passengers with valid proof of vaccination can travel freely so long as the countries they are arriving from are not considered high-risk. This includes free movement across the open border with Northern Ireland.
Along with allowing in more travellers, Ireland’s tourism industry will slowly reopen as well. Outdoor dining and hotels will reopen in early June and indoor dining will resume on July 5.
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.