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Ireland travel restrictions: Full UK testing rules for Irish tourists as new guidelines confirmed

People travelling to the UK from Ireland will not need a negative Covid-19 test to enter the country – as long as they haven’t left the Common Travel area in the last ten days.

The British government finalised its new rules governing international travel on Saturday evening.

From Tuesday onwards, all travellers arriving in the UK from outside the Common Travel Area will be required to produce a negative test.

The rule applies regardless of vaccination status.

However officials confirmed that people flying in from Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man will be exempt from the new guidelines.



Passengers at Departures level in Terminal 1 pictured at Dublin Airport.

Arrivals from these countries will also not be required to fill out a passenger locator form or take part in any form of quarantine as long as they have not been outside the Common Travel Area in the last ten days.

But crucially it must be noted that, from Sunday, anyone who is visiting the UK and returning to Ireland must provide evidence of a negative Covid-19 test when they return here.

The exact type of test, and the time limits for them, vary depending on your vaccination status.

Here is the latest advice on arriving in Ireland from the Department of Foreign Affairs:

If you are travelling to Ireland from overseas you must fill out a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) before departure.

From Sunday 5 December 2021, passengers to Ireland will be asked to show a negative test for Covid-19.

  • if you do not have proof of vaccination or recovery, you will have to show a negative (‘not detected’) RT-PCR test which was carried out no more than 72 hours before you arrive in Ireland
  • if you have proof of vaccination or recovery from COVID-19, you can show a negative (‘not detected’) antigen test which was carried out no more than 48 hours before you arrive in Ireland. Alternatively, you can show a negative (‘not detected’) RT-PCR test which was carried out no more than 72 hours before you arrive

Only Rapid Antigen Tests which are listed on the common EU Rapid Antigen Test list will be accepted and it must be carried out by a health professional or skilled testing personnel – you can’t test yourself.

In situations where a person is unable to provide evidence of a negative (‘not detected’) RT-PCR test due to a persistently positive RT-PCR test after recovery, then proof of a negative/’not detected’ antigen test and proof of recovery will be accepted.

All passengers from a scheduled State are required to have a negative (‘not detected’) RT-PCR test result taken 72 hours prior to arrival to Ireland. This applies to all passengers even if they have vaccination or recovery certificates.




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