COVID-19 Updates and Travel Advice
News09 February 2021
Since 16 March 2020, the Government of Ireland has been recommending against all non-essential international travel to anywhere in the world, including Canada and Ireland.
Irish citizens are free to leave Canada on any scheduled flights from a Canadian airport and transatlantic flights continue to operate, albeit with reduces routes. You should check regularly with your airline’s website for status updates and for any additional information they may require before you can board. We strongly recommend that you do not travel to an airport without a confirmed booking.
As of Saturday, 16 January, passengers arriving into Ireland from all countries, including Canada, are required to show a negative result of a pre-departure PCR COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival in the State. Checks will be made by the Border Management Unit at Dublin Airport and by An Garda Síochána at other points of entry. Mandatory quarantine at a designated facility will be required for passengers who arrive in breach of the pre-departure negative/'not detected' PCR requirement. Children aged six and under are exempt from this requirement.
On 26 January the Government of Ireland announced the introduction of additional, short-term restrictions. These will include mandatory quarantine measures applying to all international arrivals and the suspension of visa-free travel to Ireland (with limited exemptions) for nationals of South Africa and all countries in South America. Updated information on these measures will be made available on the gov.ie website, the website of the Irish Immigration and Naturalisation Service, and on this Department’s country specific travel pages.
Ireland has implemented the EU ‘Traffic Light System’ whereby restrictions are based on the location of the passenger during the 14 days prior to arrival. In general, you are requested to restrict your movements for 14 days if you arrive into Ireland from another country. This applies to all travellers entering the State, including Irish citizens coming home and people with no symptoms. Restricting your movements means avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible. Ireland’s Health Service Executive has provided guidance on how to restrict movements on their website.
Passengers entering Ireland from red regions (which currently includes Canada) can exit quarantine early following receipt of a negative/not-detected result from a Covid-19 PCR test taken a minimum of five days after arrival in Ireland. Test results can take a few days; passengers are requested to continue to restrict their movements until they have the negative result. The PCR COVID-19 test is currently the only test type considered acceptable by public health authorities in Ireland in relation to international travel. Testing provision under Ireland’s framework for international travel will not be provided through the public health system, but will be met by the private commercial sector testing supply and paid for by passengers.
The links below on Cork and Dublin airports websites give details of the current companies providing PCR tests.
The general request to restrict movements does not apply to persons travelling for an essential need or function as defined by Paragraph 19 of the EU Council Recommendation on Travel for an Essential Purpose. It is the responsibility of each individual to determine if their circumstances fall into one of the categories in Paragraph 19 of the EU Council Recommendation on travel for an essential need or function.
For up-to-date information on what to do if you are travelling to Ireland at this time, please see the Irish Government website.
To ensure that this is being observed, all passengers arriving to Ireland from overseas are obliged to complete a mandatory Public Health Passenger Locator Form and to submit it to the relevant authority at their port of entry. Exemptions are in place for providers of essential supply chain services such as hauliers, pilots and maritime staff. Check the Irish Government Advice Page for full information on these requirements. Further advice for people who have recently returned from abroad is available from the HSE.
Canadian Travel Restrictions
Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau has announced that, beginning March 18, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. EDT, the Government of Canada will, for air travel specifically:
- Bar foreign nationals from all countries from entering Canada. The measure would not apply in designated exceptional circumstances, including to air crews, travellers arriving in Canada in transit to a third country, Canadian permanent residents, diplomats, immediate family members of Canadian citizens, or those people with a work or study permit issued before March 18th 2020.
- Redirect international passenger flight arrivals to four airports: Toronto Pearson International Airport, Vancouver International Airport, Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, and Calgary International Airport.
- Strengthen screening measures at airports, including stronger and more visible messaging, health screening at kiosks, and enhanced cleaning and disinfection of high-traffic areas and facilities at airports.
- In addition, airlines will prevent all travellers who present COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of their citizenship, from boarding international flights to Canada. Airlines will conduct a basic health assessment of all air travellers based on guidance from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
- All travellers, including those who present as healthy or asymptomatic, will have to present a clear and acceptable self-isolation plan on arrival in Canada or be quarantined directly for 14 days by Health Canada.
We strongly advise you to check with your airline before travel.
Before Travelling to Canada
The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, is requiring that, effective January 7, 2021, at 12:01 a.m. EST, all air passengers five years of age or older will be required to test negative for COVID-19 before travelling from another country to Canada. This implementation date provides all airlines, both foreign and domestic, adequate time to comply with the new requirements.
Documentation of a negative laboratory test result must be presented to the airline prior to boarding a flight to Canada. The test must be performed using a COVID-19 molecular polymerase chain reaction (or PCR) test and must be taken within 72 hours prior to the traveller’s scheduled departure to Canada.
Anyone who receives a negative test result and is authorized to enter Canada must still complete the full, mandatory 14-day quarantine.
The Government of Canada will be further increasing surveillance efforts to ensure travellers entering Canada complete the applicable mandatory 14-day quarantine period under the Quarantine Act.
IEC Permit Holders
If you want to enter Canada to activate your Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction
As of May 8, 2020, if you’re taking part in the Working Holiday, Young Professional or International Co-op categories you can come to Canada if you have:
- a valid job offer which includes a written note from your employer in Canada that says
- their business is continuing to operate (whether essential or not)
- you’ll start work after the 14-day mandatory quarantine
- a POE Letter of Introduction
- proof of adequate health coverage
If you have a work permit and want to re-enter Canada
You do not need to prove you have a valid job offer to re-enter Canada if you’re outside the country temporarily and you already:
- landed in Canada
- activated your POE Letter of Introduction, and
- have a work permit
When you re-enter, you must quarantine for 14 days.
For more information, see: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19/iec.html
Please refer to the Government of Canada’s Outbreak Update page and the World Health Organisation for latest updates on the outbreak at national level and to our Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland’s official travel advice.
Latest information for the response in the Canadian provinces can be found here: Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia.
Anyone intending to travel to Ireland in the coming weeks should carefully monitor the HSE.ie coronavirus information page before travel.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Embassy has introduced the following changes to opening times and procedures as a precautionary measure. The changes will remain in effect until March 29 when they will be reviewed depending on developments.
The Embassy will be open to the public Monday to Friday from 10:00-12:30 and from 14:00-16:00 by appointment only.
You can book an appointment via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone (+1 613 233 6281).
Please note that at this time, only urgent appointments will be accepted.
Phone lines remain open from 10:00-12:00, and from 14:00-16:00.
Please do not visit the Embassy without an appointment. The only exception to this will be for consular emergencies.
For consular emergencies outside working hours please call the Embassy on +1 613 233 6281 and leave a voicemail. This voicemail is monitored by the Embassy Duty Officer. Alternatively, you can call the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade in Dublin on +353 1 408 2000.
We thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we implement these changes.
Working Holiday Agreements
Please note that we are not currently processing Working Holiday Agreements due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have temporarily ceased processing new applications under the Working Holiday Agreement. We intend to resume accepting applications as soon as circumstances allow. Keep an eye our website to see when WHA services resume.
For more information, go to our WHA FAQ page here.
COVID 19 Update – Visa Service
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 temporarily ceased 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 the 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 visa 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.