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

Jan 24, 2022

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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 November 2015. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
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

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)
(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 photo of the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge by James Kerwin/Getty Images.

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