Thankfully we no longer have severe travel restrictions for entry into Ireland. However, there are still some restrictions to be aware of – I’ve answered your most frequently asked questions below.
On February 1st 2022, new travel restrictions for entry into Ireland were introduced. If you can provide an accepted proof of vaccination within 270 days, or proof of recovery from COVID-19 in the prior 6 months, you no longer have to show an additional pre-departure COVID-19 test result.
Note: Travel restrictions for entry into Ireland or any country can change on a daily basis. I have sourced the following information from various reputable sources, (3rd February 2022) however, they are subject to change. I recommend you check the Gov.ie website , download the Reopen EU app and check with your airline / travel agent before travelling.
What are the new travel restrictions for entry into Ireland?
From 1st February 2022, once you can provide an accepted proof of vaccination, or proof of recovery from COVID-19 in the prior 6 months, you no longer have to show an additional pre-departure COVID-19 test result.
It is important to note that vaccine certificates for primary vaccination series will not be accepted if more than 270 days have passed since the final dose in the primary vaccine series. This is 270 days from the second dose of a two-shot vaccines Pfizer, AstroZeneca or Moderna, or a single dose of Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).
If you have received a booster / additional vaccine dose and have an updated Digital Covid Certificate showing this, then there is no expiry date.
What happens if my Digital Covid Certificate doesn’t show my booster dose?
Once you receive your booster you should automatically receive a new Digital Covid Certificate via email within a few days. If you don’t receive this you can request one via the online portal here, or call the helpline – 1800 807 008.
Can I still travel if I don’t want a booster and its been more than 270 days since I received my final dose of vaccine?
Passengers without a booster dose, proof of vaccination within 270 days, or proof of recovery from COVID-19 in the prior 6 months, must show evidence of a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours prior to arriving in Ireland. Only PCR test results are accepted – antigen tests will not be accepted.
What happens if my PCR test shows positive because I had Covid-19 recently?
If you are unable to present evidence of a negative PCR test due to continuing to test positive after infection, you can show proof of a positive PCR result from a test taken 11 or more days prior to your arrival date, but no more than 180 days prior to your arrival date.
Do children need to provide negative tests too?
Children aged 11 and under are exempt from testing.
Do I still need to fill out the Passenger Locator Form?
Yes, most countries require a Passenger Locator Form to be filled out before arrival. This can usually be done online, and in some cases needs to be completed 24-48 hours in advance of travel.
The Irish Passenger Locator Form must be completed before arrival. This is a simple online form, and one form needs to be completed for each passenger age 18 or older. Details of children should be included on the adult form. You need to provide the mobile number as you will be text with a verification code, which you need to enter to log in and complete the form.
Read: Fill out passenger locator forms before you travel
What about travelling to other countries?
The Digital Covid Certificate was designed to facilitate movement of citizens within the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic. It allowed people to travel without testing if fully vaccinated, recovered from COVID-19, or had a negative test result. This is still being used in most European countries today.
The European Commission introduced the nine-month validity from 1st February 2022 and it is likely that most European countries will adopt this new policy, without any validity date on boosters.
However, these are purely guidelines and all countries are free to introduce their own entry requirements. It is vital that you check the requirements of the country you are travelling to before you travel.
At the time of issue some EU countries still proof of a negative test result on entry, even if fully vaccinated and have a booster. Other countries outside of the EU have separate requirements. Check the DFA website, Reopen EU app or your airline / travel agent before travelling.
How do I find out where to get tested?
Testing has been part and parcel of travel for the past year, so there should be plenty of test centres available, regardless of your destination. Many airlines have test centres listed on their website under country information – see Aer Lingus here. Your travel agent or hotel should also be able to help you find a location close by.
Ireland has many test centres available all over the country. Gosafe offer with Antigen tests from €29 while V1Medical offer PCR tests from €89. Professional antigen tests are also available throughout various Pharmacies in Ireland, however, it is vital that they include a certificate for travel.
Will insurance cover costs if I have to cancel or stay in a hotel abroad due to Covid-19?
Some insurance companies, including Multitrip have Covid cover included. This usually covers cancellation should you catch Covid-19 before travel or medical and accommodation expenses should you need to extend your stay abroad due to a Covid-19 diagnosis abroad.
However, a seven-day moratorium applies to new policies, and there are expense limits on accommodation / travel costs. It is vital you check the Ts & Cs with your travel insurance provider before purchasing.
What happens if I don’t want to travel?
The reply to this question depends on the airline, hotel, or travel agency that you booked with. Some airlines are happy to change your booking for free, or offer a voucher, others will charge you for the privilege. In general terms, if a flight or holiday is cancelled you ARE entitled to a refund, if you decide you don’t want to travel, but the flight is operating, you are NOT entitled to a refund.
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Read: My top tips for travelling during Covid-19
Read: Top 10 tips for travelling through Dublin Airport
Read: Fill out passenger locator forms before you travel