Ireland ends nearly all restrictions including health pass and curfew

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Just over a month after announcing some of the the strictest measures in Europe in the fight against the spread of Omicron, including the implementation of a curfew just before Christmas, Republic of Ireland has now decided to lift most of them.

He follows in the footsteps of the neighbor UK, which recently removed mandatory mask-wearing and even vaccine passports. Now travelers to the Republic, as well as North Ireland (part of UK), can enjoy similar freedoms north or south of the border.

Crowds gathering in the Temple Bar area of ​​Dublin, Ireland

What has changed since January 22 in The Republic?

Like the Taoiseach (Irish for Prime Minister) Michael Martin States, Ireland withstood Storm Omicron and “today is a good day”. From January 22, Irish nationals will return to a level of normality not known since before Omicron cases were first reported.

Among them measures canceled is a 8 p.m. curfew targeting most hospitality and cultural venues including pubs, Restaurants, cinemas and theaters. Ireland being world famous for its pub culture and the bohemian atmosphere of cities like Dublin and Galway, visitors will certainly appreciate the change.

Tourists Taking Selfie in Temple Bar District in Dublin, Ireland

In addition, customers will no longer need to present proof of an EU Covid digital certificate to enter the halls, aligning Ireland with Britain and Northern Ireland, which have completely abolished so-called vaccine passports and even social distancing.

On the other hand, Republic officials are more cautious than their British counterparts, as wearing a mask is still compulsory on public transport and most public buildings, at least for now.

Masked people wandering the streets of Galway, Ireland

With the announcement, American and Canadian tourists will be able to benefit more freedoms, whether making more flexible journeys through the mystical Wild Atlantic Way with family or go exploring pubs till dawn with friends in famous Dublin Temple Bar District.

The Taoiseach also confirmed that any restrictions on family gatherings will expire, as will the limits on the number of event attendees. Especially at a time when other European Union (EU) countries like France are tightening their mandates, Ireland is sure to become a more attractive destination for foreign visitors.

Woman looking at the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland

What about border measures?

While social brakes have started to be abolished throughout the island of Ireland, tourists arriving from United States, Canada and other non-UK or EU countries are still subject to entry restrictions based on vaccination status. That doesn’t seem likely to change anytime soon.

Foreign passport holders traveling to Ireland must always complete a Passenger Locator Form before flying and present either proof that they have been completely immunized against the Covid or one RT-PCR negative test passed within 72 hours of arrival. Unlike other EU countries such as Spain, Ireland has not yet confirmed that it will need reminders for travel from February 1, in accordance with EU directives.

Friends show each other their EU Covid digital certificate

Previously, pre-departure tests for the vaccinated and the unvaccinated was in force, although this this is no longer the case since January 6, proving that Ireland is get further and further away strict Covid regulations at its entry points.

Like for the unvaccinated, the state has been clear he will not accept rapid antigen tests for travel. If they fail to qualify as vaccinated and arrive in the country without a negative RT-PCR test, passengers can be fined and/or sent to jail.

Agent at the airport checking the Covid pass

What rules should I follow if I am traveling to Ireland via a Northern Ireland entry point?

When he is to arrive on the island via a Northern Ireland Airport, such as Belfast International – BFS, Americans should follow UK entry protocols, because Northern Ireland is a nation within the United Kingdom. Even though Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are different countries, the entry rules are similar.

When crossing the open border between the North and the Republic, Americans are not required to present documents, including Covid certificates, as the two entities form a Common travel area (CTA), where identity checks are not performed.

Ruins of Dunseverick Castle in Northern Ireland

Once inside the Common Travel Area, which also includes British nations such as England, Scotland and Wales, as good as Channel Islands and Isle of man, tourists are also exempt from customary controls and restrictions applying to those arriving from outside this area.

Before boarding a flight to Ireland, Americans are advised to follow CDC advice and be wary no international trip is without risk these days, as travel rules may change at short notice and a positive test abroad may have a significant impact on travel plans.

Read more:

Travel insurance that covers Covid-19 for 2022

WHO urges countries to ease entry rules for travelers

Top 10 places to visit on your trip to Ireland

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Disclaimer: Current Travel Rules and Restrictions may change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm entry of your nationality and/or any changes to travel conditions before travelling. Travel Off Path does not approve travel against government advice

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