When Can I Travel To Republic Of Ireland

The Republic of Ireland has long been a popular tourist destination for international and domestic travellers for centuries, with its stunning landscapes, unique culture and vibrant night life. It is a great country to explore, with plenty to offer both the first-time visitor and the more experienced globetrotter. As Ireland continues to carefully manage the impact of COVID-19, there are several important factors that travellers need to consider before embarking on a trip to the Emerald Isle.

The most important factor to consider when travelling to any country is the health protocols put in place to control the spread of the virus, and the Ireland is no different. Currently, all countries of the European Union are subject to restrictions pertaining to entry into the Republic of Ireland. All travellers entering the country from EU member states are required to present a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure, as well as proof of a completed online health questionnaire and the relevant paperwork from your biosecurity.

In addition to the health protocols, visitors should be aware that there are a number of restrictions in place in relation to social distancing and contact with those outside your own household. Non-essential travel and congregation are banned across Ireland and face masks must be worn in indoor public spaces. Visitors are also encouraged to maintain a distance of 2 metres from others and wash their hands thoroughly and frequently. The Irish government also monitors the tourist industry closely, and has implemented a ‘traffic light’ system indicating the current level of risk of the area. Areas classified as ‘green’ have no travel restrictions in place, while those classified as ‘amber’ have restrictions in place but can be visited with caution. Any area classified as ‘red’ requires international visitors to quarantine for up to 14 days.

With careful planning and consideration for safety protocols in place, tourists can still enjoy the best of what Ireland has to offer, while keeping themselves and the country’s population safe. There are a number of experiential and outdoor activities, as well as attractions and festivals, that can be enjoyed either indoors or outdoors. When looking to enjoy an activity or attraction, visitors should check that the event is compliant with the relevant safety protocols. To assist visitors, the Irish Government has launched an ‘Information on Ireland’s hospitality’ website, which provides detailed and up-to-date information on the current restrictions in place.

By preparing thoroughly and abiding by the safety protocols, visitors can still look forward to a wonderful time visiting and exploring Ireland. Visiting Ireland in 2021 is all about ensuring that safety comes first, and by doing so, travellers will still be able to experience and appreciate so much of this beautiful and culturally rich country.

Food and Beverage

When considering what and where to eat, visitors should be aware of the restrictions in place within the hospitality industry. All restaurants and bistros must comply with Government regulations, which means that the inside of establishments may only be occupied by up to 50% of their maximum occupancy. Outdoor dining is still available, and should be the preferred option to ensure maximum safety. In addition, all patrons must provide contact details when ordering take away food.

Those who wish to take advantage of Ireland’s fantastic selection of drinks and dishes should be ready to observe hygiene protocols including the regular use of hand sanitiser and wearing face masks. As many of Ireland’s culinary experiences are on par with the rest of the world, visitors can still enjoy the full array of dishes, from seafood to farm-to-table delicacies.

Accommodations

When considering where to spend your nights during your visit, it is highly recommended to do your research in advance. All of Ireland’s hospitality industry establishments, including hotels, B&B’s, hostels, and Airbnb’s, have been advised to implement decreased occupancy rates and new social distancing regulations. Patrons should expect regular sanitisation and linen cleaning protocols, as well as contactless check-in.

For those overseas visitors who don’t want to stay inside and prefer the great outdoors, there are a vast number of camping sites, caravan parks and glamping companies located across the country. Those using these establishments should contact them in advance to check capacity and safety regulations, such as the proper use of face masks and social distancing.

Transport

Getting around Ireland is easier than ever with public transport operating across the whole country. For longer trips, visitors should look to take advantage of rail and bus networks, which are both safe and fast. All modes of transport now require passengers to wear a face covering that complies with the Health Protection Regulations, and accept contactless payments wherever possible.

For those looking to travel across Ireland’s borders, tourists and residents must observe restrictions applicable depending on the current level of risk. For those regions classified as green, crossing borders is unrestricted, however visitors should expect additional checks and measures as necessary. For any region classified as amber or red, the Irish government has advised citizens and foreigners against travelling across borders, or only to do so with prior permission from the relevant authorities.

Attractions and Experiences

Although most of Ireland’s museums, galleries and attractions remain closed, there are still plenty of cultural experiences that the majority of visitors will be able to enjoy. The Irish Tourist Board has compiled a list of experiences that still remain open, which includes everything from historical sites and religious landmarks, to music and theatre venues.

For those looking to explore the outdoors, visitors should be aware that some outdoor attractions may require prior booking and offers ticketing options to ensure that safety protocols remain in place. Bearing this in mind, tourists can still enjoy the spectacular landscapes and wander the many walking trails on offer. It is also possible to explore Ireland’s coastline, waterways and forests, many of which are open to the public.

Culture and Nightlife

Regardless of the health restrictions in place, culture and nightlife still thrive in Ireland’s towns and cities. Visitors seeking to explore the Emerald Isle’s iconic music should look to small venues and pubs in particular, where traditional Irish music is often performed.

In terms of nightlife, discos, nightclubs and bars are all closed and are unlikely to reopen until later in 2021. However, restaurants, pubs and cafes are now able to serve alcohol indoors, although there are restrictions in terms of closing times and how much drink is allowed to be served. For those looking for a more relaxed night out, pubs offer outdoor seating areas, and can offer a great home-grown experience for visitors looking for a taste of Irish culture.

Safety Tips

Finally, for those travelling to Ireland, it is important to bear in mind the health and safety protocols in place. Visitors should ensure that they abide by the regulations in place, such as regularly washing their hands and wearing face masks.

It is also important to read up on the current restrictions in place and to avoid any non-essential gatherings or travel. For up-to-date information, visitors should check the Irish Government’s information page on options available for international travellers.

John Wilder

John F. Wilder is a writer based in Dublin, Ireland. He specializes in articles about Irish culture, history, and politics. He has been writing for various publications for over a decade and has an extensive knowledge of Irish culture. He has traveled extensively throughout Ireland, and has a deep love of its culture and history. He is passionate about promoting a positive image of Ireland, both at home and abroad.

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