IN MY column last month, I wrote about the uncertain nature of travel restrictions to Ireland which were set to be relaxed as of July 19, but at that stage, it was unclear what this would mean for those heading to Ireland from Scotland.
As of July 19, adults who are fully vaccinated—what that means exactly, I’ll detail below—are able to arrive into Ireland without the need for a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours and there is no requirement to self-isolate upon arrival in to Ireland. As has been the case from very early on in the pandemic, visitors are required to complete a ‘Passenger Locator Form,’ but this is a very simple task which can be completed online via a smartphone in minutes—or in paper form if you prefer.
Whilst this is great news for the vast majority of the adult population—who by this stage are considered ‘fully vaccinated’—for those who are not, and for children between the ages of 12-17, the situation is a little more complex.
For those who are not considered to be ‘fully vaccinated’ and this may even include those who have recently had their second dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, there is still the requirement to isolate upon arrival and have a negative pre-departure PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel. The isolation period is 14 days, but this can be shortened to 5 days upon a negative PCR test provided by the HSE once in Ireland.
For children aged 12-17 who are unvaccinated, there is no requirement to self-isolate upon arrival into Ireland, however, they are required to have a negative PCR test within 72 hours of travel—for a family with several children, this could be a costly expense on top of the rest of a holiday.
There is one exception to the requirement of both those not ‘fully vaccinated’ and those aged 12-17 in requiring a negative PCR test and having to isolate and that is having proof that they have recovered from a Covid-19 infection in the previous 180 days.
The status of ‘fully vaccinated’ in the eyes of the Irish authorities depends on how long it has been since your second dose of the vaccine and this also depends on which vaccine you have received. For the various available vaccines this means:
—7 days following the second dose of a Pfizer vaccine
—14 days following the second dose of a Moderna vaccine
—14 days following the single dose of the Janssen vaccine (not available in the UK)
—15 days following the second dose of an AstraZeneca vaccine
Whilst these rules are more complex for those who are not ‘fully vaccinated,’ they will most certainly be welcomed by those who are looking to travel to Ireland, which, for many, will be for the first time in two years.
Don’t forget that these travel restrictions are subject to change and the latest information can be found via http://www.dfa.ie/travel
Paddy Callaghan is the Scottish Region Development Officer for Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. You can follow him on Twitter: @paddy_box and Instagram: paddy_box