Visitors to Ireland now have to provide negative COVID-19 test results to enter the country. The policy, which stems from a desire to prevent the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, will go into effect on Dec. 5.
Not all travelers have to follow the same exact requirements. If visitors have proof of complete vaccination or recovery, they can use PCR or antigen test results.
To be valid, the results must come in one of two forms: a negative antigen test taken within 48 hours before entry or a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before entry.
Accepted antigen tests must be part of the common list of EU rapid antigen tests. Only health care professionals or testing personnel can administer tests for entry purposes.
However, unvaccinated individuals who’ve never had the virus face stricter requirements. PCR tests, which have greater accuracy than antigen tests, is their only option.
Technically, entering Ireland is still possible without such results. However, visitors who choose to go that route have to self-quarantine and take a PCR test within three days of entering Ireland.
Without the PCR test, visitors’ required self-quarantine is extended to 10 days.
Some travelers ware exempt from the updated testing requirements. Those groups are as follows:
Children under the age of 12
People traveling for crucial medical procedures
Defense workers on duty
Travelers entering Ireland for legal proceedings
Elected representatives in the course of duty
Humanitarian emergency travelers
Northern Irish people who haven’t traveled overseas in at least two weeks
Though Ireland’s COVID-19 case rates peaked in January before dropping for several months, they’ve shown a steady increase since early October. In contrast, current death rates are low compared to rates in January and February.
Irish health authorities have confirmed at least one Omicron COVID-19 case within the country.