What the latest health regulations in Ireland mean for those coming home for Christmas

This week the Government has made some changes to the public health regulations for those travelling to Ireland. So what does that mean if you’re thinking about travelling home to Ireland for Christmas?
Well here are the details.

Anyone travelling to Ireland must complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) before they depart. These can be sourced here - https://travel.eplf.gov.ie/en

From Friday 3rd December onwards, anyone who plans on entering Ireland will also be required to be tested before their arrival.

If the person travelling is fully vaccinated or has recovered from Covid-19 (and importantly they must have valid documentation that proves this – such as a Digital COVID Certificate) then they must show a negative test result from either an antigen test OR a PCR test. If you are using an antigen test, it must have been taken no more than 48 hours before you arrive in Ireland. If you opt for the PCR test then it must have been conducted within 72 hours of your arrival on Irish soil.

For those using antigen tests, it is important to know that they have to be professionally administered, meaning you can’t just take one yourself.

In the case of those who are travelling and who are not fully vaccinated or recovered then they must show a negative PCR test result which was taken within 72 hours of their arrival.

Children under the age of 11 are exempt from the testing requirements.

Additional restrictions have also been announced for those who might be travelling from ‘scheduled States’. At the time of writing that specifically refers to South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe. The current advice from the Irish Government is to avoid non essential travel to or from those countries.

For anyone who does have to travel from one of those locations will have to quarantine at the address they declared on their Passenger Location Form. They will only be allowed to leave this location to take a PCR test. These must be taken on Day 2 and Day 8 after the passenger’s arrival – without exception. The Irish Health Service Executive (HSE) will make contact with the passenger to arrange the relevant tests.

Obviously this is an evolving situation following on from the latest developments with the Omnicron variant. We will try to keep this page updated as more information is provided but anyone who is seeking the most up to date details should go to https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/77952-government-advice-on-international-travel/


Please note - since publishing the introduction of these measures has been delayed beyond the 3rd December. It is expected they will come into effect in the coming days, possibly on Sunday 5th December.