Can I travel to Ireland? The rules for travelling from the UK this summer

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Ireland doesn’t currently feature on the UK’s traffic-light system for travel. While most countries are classed as green, amber or red, Ireland is part of the common travel area. This means that those travelling from Ireland to the UK don’t have to quarantine on arrival in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

There are currently restrictions in place for those travelling to Ireland from the UK. At the moment, all visitors to Ireland have to show a negative Covid test on arrival and self-isolate for a period of 14 days (which can be shortened with a negative PCR test after five days).

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However, the Irish government has announced that from Monday 19 July 2021, fully vaccinated travellers won’t have to quarantine on arrival in the country. Ireland will be adopting the European Union’s Covid-19 certificate for EU travellers, which uses a QR code that proves that travellers have been vaccinated at least 14 days previously. EU travellers can also show that they have received a negative test result or recovered from Covid-19 to skip quarantine.

Meanwhile, travellers from England, Scotland and Wales will need to show valid proof of vaccination to avoid self-isolating. Those travelling from Northern Ireland won’t be under any restrictions, as long as they haven’t been overseas within the previous 14 days.

So what impact will this have on holidays to Ireland? Here’s everything you need to know about visiting this summer.

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Devil Horns, Ireland

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Yes. UK residents have been legally allowed to travel for leisure from Monday 17 May (though it’s only advised to visit countries on the UK’s green list), and from Monday 19 July Ireland will allow British and US travellers, as well as EU visitors, into the country. Until Monday 19 July you can travel to Ireland but will have to self-isolate on arrival regardless of your vaccination status. It’s also worth noting that in Ireland, all but essential travel is discouraged until Monday 19 July.

What are the entry requirements for Ireland?

Until Monday 19 July, all travellers will need to present a negative Covid-19 test and fill in a passenger locator form, as well as isolate for 14 days or less after taking an additional test on day five. From Monday 19 July onwards, travellers from the EU can present the European Union’s Covid-19 certificate, while British travellers will have to prove that they’ve been fully vaccinated at least two weeks before arriving in the country to avoid having to quarantine. Unvaccinated children aged seven to 18 will need to show proof of a negative coronavirus test.

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What are the lockdown restrictions in Ireland?

At the time of writing, restaurants and bars are open for outdoor service only for groups of up to six, while cinemas, theatres, galleries and museums are open. Hotels, B&Bs, self-catering rentals and hostels are also open. From Monday 5 July 2021, restrictions are due to ease further and indoor service in bars and restaurants will resume.

So if I’ve had both jabs, can I visit Ireland after Monday 19 July?

In theory, yes. But Ireland will be regularly reviewing the destinations from which travellers can enter and applying an emergency-brake system to countries where a variant of concern or interest arises.

Fully vaccinated visitors arriving in Ireland from a country outside the EU with no emergency brake applied won’t need to show proof of tests or quarantine on arrival. If you haven’t got valid proof of being fully vaccinated, you will have to provide a negative PCR test result within 72 hours before your arrival, self-quarantine for 14 days (shortened to five days if you pay for a PCR test that comes back negative) and undergo post-arrival testing.

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Fully vaccinated visitors arriving in Ireland from a country outside the EU with an emergency handbrake applied will need to provide a negative PCR test result within 72 hours before arrival, self-quarantine and undergo post-arrival testing. Those arriving from a country outside the EU with an emergency handbrake applied who do not have valid proof of being fully vaccinated will be required to show a negative PCR test result within 72 hours before arrival, complete 14 days’ quarantine in a government-approved hotel and undergo post-arrival testing.

What if I’m travelling from Northern Ireland?

There will be no restrictions on travel to or from Northern Ireland, as long as you haven’t been overseas in the 14 days before arrival in Ireland. If you have, you will need to comply with the relevant restrictions in place for arrivals from that country.

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