Covid-19 Updates & Mandatory Hotel Quarantine from April 15, 2021
News20 January 2021
There is a Government Advisory in operation against all non-essential international travel. Travel restrictions are in place to protect public health and to mitigate the risk of new variants of COVID-19 entering the country.
Mandatory Hotel Quarantine requirements apply to all persons who have been in a designated state in the 14-days prior to entering Ireland. The USA was added to the designated state list on April 9, 2021.
All passengers arriving into Ireland are required to complete a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form. All passengers are also required to have a negative / ‘not detected’ result from a pre-departure COVID-19 RT-PCR test (only this kind of test is acceptable) taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Ireland. Antigen or other test types do not meet the requirements. Passengers will be asked to present evidence of their negative/‘not detected’ result before boarding their airplane or ferry, and to produce this evidence to Immigration Officers on arrival at points of entry to the State. Children aged six and under are exempt from this requirement.
If you are travelling from or via a designated state you must also pre-book and pre-pay for a place in a designated facility for mandatory hotel quarantine. Arrivals from designated states are subject to mandatory hotel quarantine. It is important to note that the list of designated states will be subject to change at short notice and passengers are required to check the list before travelling to Ireland, to be sure of their obligations.
Exemption for those who have been fully vaccinated
If you are fully vaccinated and have the documents to prove that then you do not have to complete mandatory hotel quarantine when you come to Ireland, click here for full information. However, even if you are fully vaccinated, you still have to have a negative pre-departure PCR test and complete a period of self-quarantine at home or wherever you specified in your passenger locator form.
The COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card you received when you were vaccinated should suffice as proof of vaccination.
Unvaccinated dependents (including minors) travelling with a fully vaccinated person who is exempt from MHQ are also exempt from mandatory hotel quarantine and can quarantine at home/at the address given on the Passenger Locator Form
Fully vaccinated passengers who are exempt from mandatory hotel quarantine are treated the same way as someone arriving in Ireland from a non-designated state, see below for details.
Full course of any one of the following vaccines:
Regarded as fully vaccinated after
Pfizer-BioNtech Vaccine: BNT162b2 (Comirnaty®),
Moderna Vaccine: CX-024414 (Moderna®),
Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine: ChAdOx1-SARS-COV-2 (Vaxzevria® or Covishield)
Johnson & Johnson/Janssen Vaccine: Ad26.COV2-S [recombinant] (Janssen®)
For all others arriving in Ireland from non-designated states:
· a 14-day quarantine period must be undertaken at the address specified on the Passenger Locator Form
· passengers who travel from another country to Ireland, and arrive via Northern Ireland, must also observe the mandatory quarantine regime
· you may only leave your place of residence during the quarantine period for unavoidable reasons of an emergency nature to protect a person’s health or welfare, or to leave the State
· you can end your period of quarantine if you receive written confirmation of a negative or ‘not detected’ RT-PCR test result taken no less than 5 days after arrival. You must retain the written confirmation of your test result for at least 14 days
If you do not fulfil the legal requirement for mandatory quarantine you are committing an offence.
You will need to check any re-entry requirements for the United States. You may be required to obtain a test before returning to the United States. Please check www.cdc.gov and the website of your state health department for the most up-to-date requirements.
PASSPORTS - IMPORTANT NEW INFORMATION ABOUT ONLINE PROCESSING:
The Passport Service will soon be expanding services offered through the online passport application system for all applicants in the US – including first-time applicants. This process will go live at the end of April and further details will be posted on our website at that time. The Consulate is no longer accepting paper application forms. The Passport Service is now directing all Irish citizens to use the online system to complete their passport application.
Passport application processing is currently suspended in line with Level 5 of the Irish Government’s National Framework on Living with COVID-19.
Any applications received at this office after 8 January 2021 have been returned to the applicant.
For those seeking to renew a passport that has expired within the last 5 years for an adult or child, you must apply using the online service here: https://www.dfa.ie/passportonline/
As part of a wide range of travel measures announced on the 26 January, and in light of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, visa-free travel to Ireland for nationals of South Africa and all countries in South America has been suspended from midnight on the 27th January. Nationals of these countries will require to be in possession of an entry visa or transit visa, as appropriate, for travel to Ireland regardless of where they reside or the purpose of their travel to Ireland.
See Government press release here.
In addition, with effect from 29 January 2021, the Department of Justice has taken the decision to temporarily cease accepting new visa/preclearance applications globally.
Increasing travel restrictions and the measures introduced as part of the Irish Government’s efforts to interrupt the transmission of COVID-19 means that travel may not be possible and even if possible is not advisable unless absolutely essential. It is currently against the law for any person (regardless of nationality or passport) to travel within Ireland for non-essential purposes and people can be fined for doing so. Enforcement of this has been strongly increased over that last few days.
These measures are designed to support our public health restrictions on movement, including into and out of Ireland.
The strong advice is that everyone, regardless of their nationality, visa/preclearance status, or the origin of travel, who cannot provide proof of an essential purpose to travel to or within Ireland, should not travel to Ireland.
The situation will continue to be reviewed in consultation with the relevant authorities in the coming weeks.
We intend to resume accepting applications as soon as safety concerns abate.
In the meantime, only certain emergency cases will be processed. Further information is available on the website of Immigration Service Delivery.
For emergency visa applications, please contact us directly so that we can guide you through the application process and advise you how to submit your documentation.
WORKING HOLIDAY AUTHORISATION
The processing of Working Holiday Authorisations is temporarily suspended until further notice.
FOREIGN BIRTH REGISTRATIONS / CITIZENSHIP
The processing of Foreign Birth Registrations or FBRs (through which Irish citizenship can be claimed by persons with a grandparent born on the island of Ireland) has also resumed following the lifting of the level 5 restriction on December 2nd. Applications that have been sent to the FBR team have been securely held and will now be processed in strict date order. At present, due to the complex nature of the FBR it takes between 12 to 18 months to process a completed FBR application.
Please note that the Consulate has no role in the processing of FBR applications. As such, we are unable to advise on the eligibility of an applicant, on the content of applications or the status of existing applications. https://www.dfa.ie/citizenship/born-abroad/registering-a-foreign-birth/