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Ireland ditches most of its COVID-19 rules: Americans welcome just in time for St. Patrick's Day

Jan. 24, 2022
5 min read
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. (Photo by James Kerwin/Getty Images)
Ireland ditches most of its COVID-19 rules: Americans welcome just in time for St. Patrick's Day
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Editor's Note

This post has been updated with new information on Ireland COVID-19 restrictions.

Ireland is further loosening COVID-19 restrictions. In fact, over the weekend the Emerald Isle scrapped nearly all coronavirus-related restrictions.

Prime Minister Micheál Martin said, "We have weathered the Omicron storm," as he announced that bars and restaurants will no longer have to close at 8 p.m. and indoor and outdoor venues can return to full capacity. Masks will still be required on public transportation and inside shops, but only until the end of next month.

Pubs are allowed to open at full capacity with no social distancing, and Ireland will be again be able to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in traditional style for the first time since 2019.

Ireland scrapped its requirement that vaccinated travelers get a pre-departure COVID-19 test at the beginning of the new year – making it one of the easiest countries for Americans to visit right now. The same rule applies to those who can prove that they’ve already had and recovered from coronavirus in the past six months.

Most recently, all visitors – including the vaccinated – had to provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within three days of arrival.

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Dublin, Ireland in November 2015. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

COVID-19 rules for Ireland

Americans have been allowed to visit Ireland during the pandemic, but until May 28, 2021 they had to quarantine for two weeks at their own expense at a government-sanctioned hotel. There is no quarantine requirement now.

Related: Everything you need to know about EU vaccine passports

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As long as you are fully vaccinated, you no longer need to have a negative COVID-19 coronavirus test result.

The Irish government says it will accept a digital vaccination certificate like the ones from the European Union or a paper certificate like the CDC cards issued to vaccinated Americans provided that it has:

  • Confirmation that the person to whom the record or evidence refers is a vaccinated person
  • That it has listed the date or dates on which the person was vaccinated
  • That the authority cited has been authorized to issue the evidence about the person concerned

All travelers must fill out a passenger locator form. Requirements for traveling to Ireland are here. Details on the latest restrictions can be found here and here.

Aer Lingus also offers helpful information on travel requirements.

Ireland accepts vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Sinovac and Sinopharm.

Unvaccinated Americans can visit Ireland, but they will need to provide a negative test and they face other restrictions.

Related: Americans will be welcomed back to Ireland without quarantine on July 19, 2021

And a reminder that you will need a COVID-19 test within a day of your return to the United States. Airlines will be checking to make sure you have the correct documentation to return to the U.S.

Related: Our favorite hotels in Ireland

Current COVID-19 situation

Skellig Michael or Great Skellig, home to the ruins of a Christian monastery and inhabited by a variety of seabirds, including gannets and puffins. UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ireland. (Photo by MNStudio/Getty Images)

Related: Visiting Dublin and Edinburgh

Unfortunately, COVID-19 is still spreading rapidly in Ireland, though new infections of omicron may have peaked. Ireland had been breaking records of new cases as of a few weeks ago, but the prime minister says the large percentage of the Irish population that is vaccinated and boosted is helping keep the virus under control.

In response, the government tightened COVID-19 restrictions in December shutting down nightclubs and ordering pubs and restaurants to close at 8 p.m.

Now with about 82% of the country vaccinated, however, the prime minister says hospitalizations and deaths are down and Ireland can return to business as usual.

Don’t miss TPG’s Ireland hub — it’s got everything you need to know about traveling to the Emerald Isle.

Note that Ireland is also no longer requiring an EU COVID-19 vaccine passport for most venues and events. You can see the previous rules below.

(Screenshot courtesy Irish government)

For additional information, visit the U.S. Embassy in Ireland’s website.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Ireland is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Featured image by Getty Images/Robert Harding Worl
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

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  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023