COVID-19 (coronavirus) Update In common with many countries around the world, there is a growing number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) on the island of Ireland. While the bulk of cases have been clearly traced to a source, there have also been cases of community transmission confirmed. The authorities in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are taking measures to protect public safety and limit the further spread of the virus. If you are considering travelling to the island of Ireland, you should be aware that these measures are likely to have a significant impact on the availability of services, events and attractions throughout the island – for example, measures include the closure of some museums and tourist sites, and in the Republic of Ireland pubs and bars have been asked to close. In addition, while businesses may remain open, they will be implementing public health advice such as encouraging 'social distancing'. Events of certain sizes, both indoors and outdoors, have been cancelled. If you’re 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. While healthcare throughout the island is of a high standard, you can expect all systems to be under significant pressure until further notice. 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. The latest information and support about COVID-19 in the Republic of Ireland can be found on the Health Service Executive’s website. 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. Useful Links Health Service Executive The HSE provides all Ireland's public health services, in hospitals and communities across the country. See their locations here. Health and Social Care Northern Ireland Links to hospitals and health care services provided in Northern Ireland, including general practitioners and specialist clinics. Irish Coast Guard Assists those in danger at sea, on the coast or in remote inland areas. In an emergency, dial 112 or 999 and ask for the Coast Guard. 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. Recommended reading Travelling in Ireland By road, sea, air, bike, rail or by foot: we've got the essential information you'll need for any mode of travel. Visas and Passports Before you start your trip, get to grips with Ireland’s passport and visa requirements. Emergency Numbers Make a note of the emergency numbers and official organisations to call or contact when in Ireland.