Unlocking the World

Travel to Ireland during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go

CNN StaffUpdated 10th January 2022
Cliffs of Moher (Clare): Perhaps Ireland's most famous attraction, the 214-meter-tall Cliffs of Moher attract around a million visitors each year. It's on the southwest edge of the Burren region.
(CNN) — If you're planning to travel to Ireland, here's what you'll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The basics

Ireland had one of Europe's harshest lockdowns throughout much of the pandemic, but with the arrival of the Omicron variant, Covid-19 infections are currently at their all-time peak.
The Irish Tourism Industry Confederation estimates the country's tourism and hospitality industries have so far lost €12.2 billion as a result of Covid-19.
Northern Ireland operates under separate Covid restrictions, which you can read about in our UK guide.

Who can go

Travelers arriving from all overseas countries are subject to the same Covid-19 testing requirements (see below).

What are the restrictions?

Document checks apply to all people aged 11 and over arriving at Irish airports and ferry terminals from outside the island.
All arrivals to Ireland must complete a Passenger Locator Form. Fianna Fáil, the ruling party led by Taoiseach Micheál Martin, has tweeted that, from January 6, people who are vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19 need only present a valid Digital Covid Certificate "or other acceptable proof."
Travelers not vaccinated or recovered will need a negative RT-PCR test done no more than 72 hours before their arrival.
For more details on acceptable proofs of vaccination or recovery and of preferred vaccines, read the latest guidance on the Irish government website.

What's the Covid situation?

As in much of Europe, the Omicron variant is behind a recent sharp rise in cases in Ireland. As of January 10, there have been 978,104 cases and 5,952 deaths. Nearly 78% of the population has been fully vaccinated, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

What's on offer

The wild coasts of Cork and Kerry, the rugged beauty of Connemara and Donegal and the cultural hub of Dublin. Ireland has long held travelers' imaginations captive, with tales of its history, its great literature and Celtic myths an endless source of fascination.
Sure, you can enjoy a few pints in one of its classic pubs, but with so much to explore, Ireland is as much a place to indulge in the great outdoors as it is to enjoy the craic.

What can visitors expect?

In response to the rise of the Omicron variant, Ireland has introduced strict new measures.
All restaurants and bars, excluding takeaways or delivery services, must close at 8 p.m., and no indoor events may be held after this time. This curfew will be in place until at least January 30, 2022.
To access indoor service at hospitality venues, you must present proof that you have been fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19 in the last six months (along with ID).
Find out more about the current restrictions here.

Useful links

Our latest coverage

Working out your itinerary? Check out these 32 beautiful reasons to visit.
A dolphin's decades-long stay in the town of Dingle was a huge tourist pull for southwest Ireland. One year after his disappearance, a memorial service for Fungie was held.
Dublin, meanwhile, remains one of Europe's best destinations for a city break. And while a sea bridge to Scotland has recently been rejected, you can always test your head for heights on the footbridge at Mizen Head, the most southwesterly point on the island of Ireland.