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    Traveller health and COVID-19 update

    Here's what you need to know about medical insurance, hospitals and pharmacies.

    COVID-19 (Coronavirus) update
     

    Republic of Ireland

    From 19 July, subject to the prevailing public health situation, Ireland will broadly align itself to the EU approach to non-essential travel into the EU from third countries. The Republic of Ireland together with other EU countries have agreed on a coordinated approach to the restriction of free movement in response to the coronavirus pandemic. To protect its citizens against importation of variants of COVID-19, an ‘emergency brake’ mechanism is being coordinated at EU level to react swiftly to the emergence of a variant of concern or variant of interest.

    If your journey originates in a country to which an emergency brake has not been applied - 

    If you have valid proof of vaccination, no travel-related testing or quarantine will be necessary.

    If you have valid proof of recovery from COVID in the past 180 days, no travel-related testing or quarantine will be necessary.
    If you do not have valid proof of vaccination or recovery, you will need to:
    present evidence of a negative result from a RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival into the country
    self-quarantine for 14 days
    if you receive a negative result from a RT-PCR test taken from day 5 onwards after arrival into Ireland, you will be able to leave quarantine

    If your journey originates in a country to which an emergency brake has been applied - 

    If you have valid proof of vaccination, you will need to:
    present evidence of a negative result from a RT-PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival
    undergo self-quarantine
    if you receive a negative result from a RT-PCR test taken from day 5 onwards after arrival into Ireland, you will be able to leave quarantine

    If you have valid proof that you have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 180 days, you will need to:
    present evidence of a negative result from a RT-PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival
    undergo self-quarantine
    if you receive a negative result from a RT-PCR test taken from day 5 onwards after arrival into Ireland, you will be able to leave quarantine

    If you do not have valid proof of vaccination or recovery, you will need to:
    present evidence of a negative RT-PCR test result taken in previous 72 hours before arrival
    undergo mandatory hotel quarantine
    if you receive a negative result from a RT-PCR test taken from day 10 onwards after arrival into Ireland, you will be able to leave quarantine

    Before you travel
    Before arriving into Ireland, you must complete a Passenger Locator Form. The form will be checked before your departure to Ireland by your airline and you may be asked to show your backup documentation as detailed on the form. 

    When you arrive in Ireland
    Spot checks will be carried out on proof of vaccinations and/or negative RT-PCR tests for passengers arriving in Ireland. These may cause some delays so give yourself extra time either side of your departure and arrival.

    Travelling with children

    Children between the ages of 12 and 17 must have a negative RT-PCR test to travel into Ireland, even if they are travelling with fully vaccinated or recovered adults. 
    Children under 12 do not need to take a RT-PCR test prior to travelling to Ireland. If there are any further changes we will update you or please check the Irish Government website for the latest information. 

    Indoor hospitality

    Only people who are fully vaccinated or who have proof of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 6 months will be able to avail of indoor hospitality during their stay in Ireland. If you’re staying in a hotel, you will be able to avail of the indoor hospitality options within the hotel. 

    Approved vaccines
    For the purposes of travel, you are considered vaccinated if you have been vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency with recommended number of days after the final dose.

    More details can be found on the Irish Government website.

     

    Northern Ireland 

    Northern Ireland is operating a system of green, red and amber countries and the measures in place will depend on the countries you are travelling from or passing through. 

    Before you travel to Northern Ireland from a green list country you must:

    provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to three days before departure
    book and pay for a day two COVID-19 PCR test
    complete a UK passenger locator form either on arrival, or in the 48 hours before arrival

    For countries on the amber list, if you are travelling to Northern Ireland, either directly or via another country, you must: 

    provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to three days before departure
    book post-arrival testing 
    complete a UK passenger locator form either on arrival, or in the 48 hours before arrival
    self-isolate for 10 days. 

    For countries on the red list, if you plan to travel to Northern Ireland, having been in, or transited through one of the countries above in the previous 10 days, you must:

    provide proof of a pre-departure negative COVID-19 test
    complete a UK passenger locator form either on arrival, or in the 48 hours before arrival
    book and enter managed isolation (hotel quarantine) for 10 days

    You can find more details on the Northern Ireland Government website. 

    COVID-19 travel questions

    What is the situation with healthcare?

    While healthcare throughout the island is of a high standard, you can expect all systems to be under significant pressure until further notice.

    When it’s time to travel, what safety measures will be in place?

    Republic of Ireland COVID-19 Safety Charter

    The COVID-19 Safety Charter is a voluntary initiative for businesses in the Republic of Ireland that is designed to reassure visitors that government approved hygiene and safety procedures are in place. In addition to Ireland’s sector-specific operational guidelines for tourism businesses on how to meet government health recommendations, businesses signing up to the Charter and displaying the Charter logo are committing to observe and adhere to strict safety protocols.

    Visitors can be assured that all businesses and their staff are displaying the COVID-19 Safety Charter logo have committed to strict hygiene and safety protocols and:

    • Have a clear understanding of the COVID-19 infection
    • Are aware of their role and responsibility in preventing the spread of COVID-19
    • Have a clear understanding of the standard precautions needed to control infection
    • Consistently demonstrate correct hand-washing technique and practices
    • Apply all of this knowledge throughout the businesses’ operations.

    Northern Ireland – We’re Good to Go

    Northern Ireland’s tourism and hospitality industry has adopted the "Good to Go" policy which presents certified evidence that a business has adhered to government guidelines and is safe to re-open. The programme is aimed at accommodation providers, visitor attractions, restaurants and pubs, business conference and events venues and tour and coach operators.

    "We’re Good To Go" is the official mark to signal that a tourism and hospitality business has worked hard to follow government and industry COVID-19 guidelines and has a process in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.

    The "We’re Good To Go" scheme is a way for tourism businesses to reassure visitors and guests that:

    • They are adhering to government and public health guidance, including the social distancing and cleanliness protocols that must be in place
    • Have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment
    • Have implemented the required health and safety processes to conduct business safely.
    Are festivals and events taking place?

    Most festivals and outdoor events have been cancelled or postponed. Please check festival websites for updated information. As it stands, groups of up to 30 people are allowed to meet outdoors in Northern Ireland. In the Republic of Ireland, outdoor gatherings are limited to 200 people. This is subject to change.

    Where can I get further information?

    Republic of Ireland

    The latest information and support about COVID-19 in the Republic of Ireland can be found on the Health Service Executive’s website.

    Northern Ireland

    You can get the most up-to-date information and guidance on COVID-19 in Northern Ireland at the official Public Health Agency Northern Ireland’s website.

    Contact us

    If you can’t find the information you need then drop us a line.

    GOOD TO KNOW

    1
    Medicines should be carried in original, labelled containers with a prescription or doctor's letter.
    2
    As on any holiday, it is advised to purchase travel insurance before travelling.
    3
    There are no vaccinations required to visit Ireland.
    4
    Most pharmacies operate between 9am and 6pm but some open late and on weekends.
    5
    EU members should bring a European Health Insurance card (EHIC) which covers most medical care.

    Travel to Ireland

    If you are concerned about how the COVID-19 situation could affect your travel plans, we recommend that you check with your airline, tour operator, cruise line, event organiser or transport and accommodation providers.

    Downhill Strand, County Londonderry

    Healthcare in Ireland

    Ireland has great healthcare, but there are a few things to keep in mind before you go. If you’re bringing medicines with you into Ireland, carry them in their original, clearly labelled container, along with your prescription or a letter from your doctor.

    It’s a rule of thumb that anything over a three-month supply of medicine will be questioned and any “controlled drugs” as well as any syringes or needles, should be declared and explained in a letter from your doctor.

    Travel and medical insurance

    You should always obtain travel insurance to cover any potential overseas medical costs including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs, before you travel. Be sure to check for any exclusions that might affect your policy and that it covers all the activities you plan on doing in Ireland, and make sure that your travel insurance has medical cover. If you’re a member of the 28 EU countries or Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, bring a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which covers you for most medical care.

    Pharmacies

    There are plenty of pharmacies in Ireland, and they’re a good first stop for travellers seeking medical advice or a local referral. Most towns have one or two pharmacies and urban areas have many. Pharmacies generally operate from 9am to 6pm Monday to Saturday, but many pharmacies in urban areas open late and on weekends.

    Bring a spare pair of glasses or contact lenses with you and your optical prescription just in case.

    Vaccinations

    Just as with most of western Europe, there are no vaccinations required to visit Ireland.