New travel measures come into effect today after being deferred on Friday

New Covid-19 travel measures have come into effect from today after they were deferred on Friday.

he delayed restrictions, which have been introduced due to the Omicron variant, took effect from this morning.

Under the new rules, all arrivals aged 12 and over who are fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19 must provide either of the following:

  • A negative or not detected antigen test taken within 48 hours before arrival;
  • A negative or not detected RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours before arrival

The test result must be certified and not self-administered.

If people are not fully vaccinated or recovered, they must show a negative or not detected RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours before arrival.

People arriving in Ireland do not need to quarantine, unless they have been in certain countries in southern Africa.

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The tests must be carried out professionally and self-tests from shops or pharmacies will not be valid.

The new measures apply only for passengers coming into the country, so travellers are encouraged to check the requirements for the country they are going to. 

The onus will be on airlines and ferry operators to check all passengers have the correct tests prior to boarding.

Children aged 11 and under are exempt from the testing requirements.

Justice Minister Helen McEntee confirmed on Friday morning that the new testing regime had been postponed until Sunday “to make sure the regulations are correct.”

“I think people will appreciate that a number of departments are involved here,” Ms McEntee said.

“It takes time, where you have to engage and make sure that the regulations are correct.

“This is simply procedural. It’s not that there has been a change at all. There just is a little bit longer time needed between departments to finalise these so it’s not about Government flip-flopping or changing direction.

“We have to change direction sometimes because of the nature of this pandemic. Everybody is doing their best here and everything we have done has been with the intention of keeping people safe.”

Visit our Covid-19 vaccine dashboard for updates on the roll out of the vaccination program and the rate of Coronavirus cases Ireland

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