Ireland has exempted fully vaccinated individuals and families with newborn children from the normal quarantine requirements for travelers from “Category 2” countries.

While these travelers will not be required to quarantine in a hotel, they still must provide a negative pre-departure PCR test and complete a period of self-quarantine at home or another location specified on their passenger locator form. The changes took effect Saturday, April 17.

Key Points:

  • Travelers from “Category 2” countries will not have to quarantine in a hotel if they have documents to show they are fully vaccinated.
  • Families traveling with newborn babies (no more than 28 days old), including those who have traveled to a designated country for the purpose of surrogacy, will not have to complete mandatory hotel quarantine upon arrival in Ireland.
  • Generally, travelers from “Category 2” countries must complete a 10-day hotel quarantine upon arriving in Ireland. Travelers are responsible for booking their own accommodations in this regard. An updated list of “Category 2” countries is available here.
  • Other exemptions to the mandatory hotel quarantine include:
    • Travelers arriving in Ireland in the course of duty who hold a valid Annex 3 certificate (ensuring the availability of goods and essential services).
    • Travelers arriving in Ireland in the course of duty who are drivers of heavy goods vehicles.
    • Airline pilots, aircrew, maritime masters or maritime crew who arrive in Ireland in the course of performing duties.
    • Those traveling to Ireland pursuant to an arrest warrant, extradition proceedings or other mandatory legal obligation.
    • Members of An Garda Síochána or Defence Forces (or their equivalents from another country) traveling to Ireland in the course of duty.
    • Those traveling to Ireland for unavoidable, imperative and time-sensitive medical reasons provided a registered medical practitioner or person with equivalent qualifications outside of Ireland has certified their reasons for travel.
    • Those having been outside of Ireland to provide services to or perform the functions of an office holder (under any enactment or the Constitution) or a member of either house of the Oireachtas or the European Parliament.
    • Diplomats and certain other categories of persons entitled to privileges and immunities in Ireland.

Analysis & Comments: Employers should update their employees who are seeking to enter Ireland and should remain aware that those who are now exempt must still quarantine at home and may exit quarantine with a negative or “not detected” PCR test taken five days following their arrival at the earliest.

The Irish government has made this recommendation, which is line with other countries, in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. It is important to note that the list of designated countries will be subject to change at short notice and passengers are required to check the list before traveling to Ireland, to be sure of their obligations.

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