Latest Travel Updates: ALL passengers arriving into Ireland are required to produce a negative PCR test. Arrivals from high risk countries require mandatory quarantine. Fines in place for any non-essential travel.
I will be updating this post regularly with travel updates due to coronavirus, so bookmark it and make it your go-to post for the latest travel information. If you have queries in relation to airline refunds and vouchers or the EU traffic light system, these posts might also be of interest:
ALL passengers arriving into Ireland are required to produce a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival.
All passengers arriving into Ireland (except those from Northern Ireland) are required to produce a negative / not detected result from a PCR test carried out no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Ireland.
Passengers who fail to present evidence of this are subject to a prosecution, punishable by a fine not exceeding €2500, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months, or both.
International Transport Workers, including aviation workers, maritime and road haulage sectors, are exempt from this requirement, if travelling in the course of performing their duties. Transit passengers who do not leave the airport, and children under 6 are also exempt from the testing requirement, although they are advised to restrict their movements for 14 days. For more information visit Gov.ie
Arrivals from higher risk countries will have to complete mandatory hotel quarantine.
Mandatory quarantine has been introduced for arrivals who have been in any high risk country in the previous 14 days, or who fail to produce a negative PCR test on arrival. This list of countries is subject to change and will be updated here. Countries that are currently considered high risk as as follows:
Angola, Anguilla, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Bonaire, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equador, Eswatini, Ethiopia, France, French Guiana, Guyana, India, Kenya, Lesotho, Luxembourg, Malawi, Maldives, Mauritius, Moldova, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Maldives, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, San Marino, Seychelles, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Somalia, South Africa, Suriname, Turkey, Territory of the Wallis and Futuna Islands, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, USA, Venezuela, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
It is important that you check up to date entry requirements before you travel on gov.ie.
Fines in place for anyone to who travels abroad for non-essential reasons.
Fines for people caught travelling to a port or airport for non-essential reasons are now in place. The fines are currently set at €2,000 per person, but this may increase. These fines can be placed on departure and on return, so a passenger may incur a fine in both directions.
Travel Updates: Ireland adopts new EU traffic light system:
Ireland has adopted the EU ‘traffic light’ system for travel, which provides for regions across the EU to be categorised as green, orange, red or grey, on the basis of the risk levels associated with COVID-19. A combined indicator map will be published each week by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), based on agreed criteria, including the 14-day cumulative incidence rate, testing rate and testing positivity rates.
The categorisation of ‘regions’ instead of ‘countries’ is significant, as popular hot spots such as the Canary Islands has seen significantly lower incidence rates than the rest of Spain. Arrivals from other countries outside Europe including USA and Canada will be treated in the same way as Red countries, and it is possible to reduce quarantine times by obtaining a post departure tests five days after arrival, which must be arranged and paid for privately.
Read: My step by step guide to the EU traffic light system for travel
Airport testing now in place in Irish airports from €99
COVID-19 testing facilities have opened in Dublin Cork and Shannon airports as well as various locations around the country. Prices start at €99 for PCR tests in Dublin Airport, and €129 in Cork and Shannon. The testing facilities are fully open to the public, whether they require a test for travel, or for another reason.
Many countries including Spain now require proof of a negative PCR test for tourists arriving from high risk countries, while other countries such as Ireland, Turkey and Netherlands require a negative PCR test for tourists from ALL countries. This negative PCR test taken with 72 hours of arrival, must be shown on entry.
The Canary Islands require a negative PCR or antigen test to be produced from ALL countries, including Ireland, while Germany now requires a negative PCR test to be shown that was taken within 48 hours of arrival. It is vital that you check with the Department of Foreign Affairs and / or your airline before travelling for the entry requirements.
It is imperative that you check the entry requirements with the country you are due to travel with before you fly. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs website:
“Inclusion on the list does not imply the absence of any restrictions on arrivals in those locations. Citizens should be aware that countries continue to announce new restrictions on arrivals from abroad, including the requirement to quarantine on entry. This can include restrictions on arrivals from Ireland. The situation will continue to evolve quickly. Citizens who are considering travel to particular locations are advised to monitor news and information from the public authorities in their destination. The list and our Travel Advice is under regular review, based on ECDC data and advice from experts, and will be updated on a regular basis.”
This website is a handy source to have, it shows you the number of Covid-19 cases in each European country, and may be useful if you wish plan overseas to a country with a lower infection rate than our own.
Ireland currently advises against non-essential travel overseas, other than to countries that are part of the EU ‘traffic lights’ approach, where the advice is to exercise a high degree of caution.
What if you don’t want to travel?
If you do you wish to travel, but your flight is operating, you are not entitled to a refund, regardless of your health situation. You should be able to change your travel dates, but if you cancel because you do not want to fly, that is seen as your own personal decision and no refund will be due.
Many airlines are waiving change fees but there may be a difference in airfare if you wish to change your date. However it it important to check the booking conditions at the time of booking with your airline.
If the government advice is still in place against non-essential travel to the destination that you are due to travel to, then you may be able to claim on your travel insurance. You will need to have had a policy taken out with travel disruption cover or government advice, before the advice came into effect.
Refunds and Vouchers:
Many airlines are offering vouchers instead of refunds and there has been a lot of confusion across the travel industry. The Irish government has recently backed a new refund credit note that can be used by travel agents and tour operators to give to customers instead of a refund – note this is not applicable to airlines.
These credit notes will be guaranteed by the state in the event that the travel agent or tour operator ceases trading. It will be issued with a future redeemable date, and on that date it can be exchanged for its cash, or can be used to book another holiday. According to Shane Ross, ‘the refund credit note aims to strike a balance between preventing sector-wide bankruptcy (with associated immediate job losses) and consumer rights.’
US bans travel from Europe including UK & Ireland.
President Donald Trump has amended the US travel ban to include Ireland and UK effective midnight 16th March.The ban applies to anyone who has been in Europe within 14 days prior to their arrival in the US. This does not apply to US citizens, however they will have to undergo health screenings on arrival.
Note: This post is being updated constantly but travel advice and updates are changing on a daily basis. It is important to check with the company / airline you are booking with, and the Department of Foreign Affairs before taking any steps to cancel or travel abroad.
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