Frequently Asked Travel Questions
Publication30 December 2020
Last Updated: 13 January 2021
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions on travel received by the Embassy of Ireland in Brussels in the context of COVID-19.
1. Travel to Ireland
2. Travel to Belgium
1. Travel to Ireland
With effect from 16 January, passengers from all countries will be required to show a negative result of a pre-departure PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival in the State. Children aged six and under will be exempt. More information on this requirement is available here.
Persons arriving in Ireland from red regions can be exempt from restricting their movements after 5 days if they can produce a negative PCR test taken after a minimum of 5 days after arrival in the State. The period of restricted movements should only end after receiving a negative test result.
Testing provision under Ireland’s framework for international travel is not provided through the public health system, but is being met by the private commercial sector on a user pays basis. Information about COVID-19 testing facilities, including how to book a pre-departure test, is available from Dublin Airport and Cork Airport.
As the availability of testing cannot be guaranteed, intending passengers wishing to avail of a post arrival test should seek an appointment for a test in advance of travel.
Q: What are the requirements for travel into Ireland from Belgium?
A: By law, if you arrive in Ireland from any other country you will need to fill in a form called the Covid-19 Passenger Locator Form prior to travel.
From 16 January, a negative result from a PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival in Ireland is required.
Details of the steps to follow on arrival in Ireland are available here.
Q: Are there flights to Ireland from Belgium at present?
A: There are a very limited number of flights operating between Belgium and Ireland.
Q: I will be travelling on to Northern Ireland. What are the guidelines for those travelling to Northern Ireland?
A: If you are arriving in Ireland and travelling onwards to Northern Ireland you will have to fill out a portion of the COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form in advance of travel.
Passengers travelling to Northern Ireland must ensure that they are familiar with the guidance and regulations in place, including the completion of a UK Passenger Locator Form.
Q: Can I move back to Ireland?
A: If you wish to or need to return to Ireland, it is possible to do so. Be aware that all travellers to Ireland, including Irish citizens, are required by law to complete a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form and are expected to restrict their movements on arrival.
If you require assistance on your return to Ireland, organisations such as CrossCare Migrant Project can provide you with advice. Comprehensive information on supports available if you are returning to Ireland during the Covid-19 crisis are also available on Citizens Information.
Q: Where can I find more information on travel to Ireland?
A: More information is available on the Government of Ireland Travel Page.
Q: When will the restrictions on travel to Ireland end?
A: We do not know how long the current travel restrictions will be in place. These measures are regularly reviewed.
Q: Are there categories of passengers that are not requested to restrict their movements on arrival in Ireland?
A: If you can demonstrate proof that you fall under one of the categories of those travelling for an essential function or need, you may not need to restrict your movements while carrying out that essential function or pursuing that imperative reason.
2. Travel to Belgium
Irish citizens travelling to Belgium are strongly encouraged to register their contact details so that we can contact you or your family in case of emergency.
Q: Where can I find the latest travel advice for Belgium?
Q: What are the requirements for travel to Belgium? Do I need to quarantine or self-isolate?
1. Passenger Locator Form
Anyone traveling to Belgium from abroad (including Ireland) is required to submit a Public Health Passenger Locator Form (PLF). The form should be completed no more than 48 hours in advance of travel. The form is obligatory for anyone travelling to Belgium or prior to return by anyone who leaves Belgium for a period of more than 48 hours.
All passengers arriving by plane or boat must submit a Passenger Locator Form, regardless of their length of stay in Belgium. Proof that you submitted the form must be carried at all times in the 48 hours after arrival
More information on how the Belgian Passenger Locator Form works is available here.
If you do not have a mobile phone or have difficulty with the electronic Passenger Locator Form, a PDF version of the form can be completed.
2. Quarantine & Testing
For the purpose of inbound travel to Belgium, regions are categorised as Red, Orange or Green on a map or table, available from the Belgian Foreign Ministry (click on the region you are travelling from). Please be aware that the Belgian Foreign Ministry map may differ from the ECDC map which should be consulted ahead of travel to Ireland.
For passengers travelling from countries outside the EU/EEA, further information is available from Belgian Immigration.
It may be necessary to quarantine for 7 days and be tested for coronavirus on arrival in Belgium. You will receive a text message instructing you following arrival.
If instructed to quarantine, this means staying indoors and avoiding contact with other people. Further details of what quarantine involves is available from the Belgian Health Ministry (see under the heading ‘Transport and International’ – What does ‘Quarantine’ mean?)
Details on what is required if travelling from a red, orange or green zone is available from the Belgian Health Ministry.
Resident in Belgium
From 2 January 2021, residents (i.e. those with valid Belgian residence cards) arriving from red zones on the Belgian Foreign Ministry map must be tested in Belgium on the day of arrival. This is in addition to the existing requirement to quarantine and test (on day 7). Additional testing capacity is to be put in place at Brussels Airport, Charleroi Airport and Brussels South railway station.
Non-residents (i.e. those not in possession of a Belgian residence card) arriving from a red zone to Belgium will need to have a recent negative PCR coronavirus test (taken in the 72 hours prior to travel). Following arrival, you must quarantine and take another test (on day 7).
The Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS 2) system is used to classify regions as red, orange or green based on the basis of their level of coronavirus. Ireland is divided into the following regions:
- Eastern & Midland Region (Dublin, Kildare, Laois, Longford, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Westmeath & Wicklow)
- Northern & Western Region (Cavan, Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Monaghan, Roscommon, Sligo)
- Southern Region (Carlow, Clare, Cork, Kerry, Kilkenny, Limerick, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford)
Check the Belgium MFA map to see what colour your region is, if travelling to Belgium.
We make every effort to ensure this information is accurate and up-to-date, but you shouldn’t regard it as definitive or comprehensive in all respects. Situations can change quickly from one day to the next and from one part of a country to another. You are wholly responsible for making decisions about your own travel.