What are the travel rules for Northern Ireland?

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International travel is back on, with England, Scotland and Wales following a traffic light system – but do the same rules apply to residents of Northern Ireland? Here’s what you need to know about holidays this summer.

Can I travel abroad from Northern Ireland?

Yes. Since Monday 24 May 2021, Northern Ireland has followed the same traffic light system as England, Scotland and Wales – the main difference being that the day five Test to Release scheme isn’t an option for those returning from amber list countries to NI. However, the list of countries in each category remains the same and since Monday 19 July 2021, fully vaccinated travellers do not need to quarantine at home on their return from amber list countries (unless arriving from France).


Causeway Coast in Antrim, Northern Ireland

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Can I travel to England, Scotland or Wales from Northern Ireland?

Those wishing to travel to England, Scotland or Wales from Northern Ireland may do so without any restrictions. The one exception to this is if you’re passing through NI from a country outside the Common Travel Area, as you will then need to adhere to the traffic light system rules.

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You would, of course, need to follow any Covid restrictions too. In England, all restrictions came to an end on 19 July. This is set to be the same in Wales from Saturday 7 August 2021. Scotland is currently at Level 0 of restrictions, which means that up to eight people from four households can meet indoors at home – and stay overnight – while up to 10 people from four households can meet at an indoor public place such as a café, pub or restaurant (and hospitality settings are required to close at midnight). Up to 15 people from 15 households may meet outdoors.

When will Northern Irish residents be able to travel as normal again?

That’s the golden question, and one we sadly don’t have an answer to. It seems likely that the traffic light system will be in place for some time, so for now it’s best to keep updated by checking our articles on the green list, amber list and red list countries, along with government advice.

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