DUP MP criticises EU for stringent regulations in Northern Ireland
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The Republic of Ireland is one of the latest countries to welcome looser coronavirus travel restrictions. New regulations have seen additional pre-testing requirements scrapped for fully vaccinated travellers, removing the need for PCR tests. These are the new rules of travel in full.
New travel measures have been introduced across the UK and Ireland following further analysis of the threat of Omicron.
A number of changes to current Covid restrictions have been made following a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
The updated travel rules were decided based on new data, which detailed the less severe symptoms associated with the Omicron variant.
The latest evidence has shown while the variant is more transmissible than previous strains of the virus, it generally causes less severe illness.
What are the new travel rules in Ireland?
Previous restrictions required all travellers to the country to take a pre-departure PCR test before entering the country, regardless of their vaccination status.
Updated restrictions will benefit those who are vaccinated, while little will change for the unvaccinated population.
Julie Wakley, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Great Britain, told Express.co.uk: “We’re delighted to be able to welcome travellers back to Ireland without the need for pre-departure testing for fully vaccinated visitors.
“Hassle-free travel within the common travel area has resumed and fully vaccinated visitors from Great Britain will be able to travel between GB and Ireland with no testing or quarantine required.”
The latest travel guidelines for visitors to the Republic of Ireland are as follows:
Vaccinated or recovered travellers will be required to present evidence of a valid digital Covid certificate or previous infection prior to travel.
Unvaccinated visitors will be required to present evidence of a not-detected RT-PCR test carried out no more than 72 hours before their arrival in Ireland.
Those who have not recently recovered from COVID-19 will also have to show evidence of a not-detected RT-PCR test prior to travel.
All visitors to Ireland must complete a passenger locator form.
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What qualifies as valid proof of vaccination or recovery from COVID-19?
While fully vaccinated travellers are free to travel to Ireland without a PCR test, valid proof of vaccination or recovery from the virus is required upon entry.
According to gov.uk, proof of your coronavirus status should come from a vaccination programme with approved proof of certification.
Visitors from England can prove this using the NHS Covid pass to show they are vaccinated.
A Covid recovery certificate states you have had Covid-19, but have since recovered, and are thought to have natural immunity from re-infection.
According to the Mayfield Clinic: “In order to obtain a Proof of Recovery Certificate, you will need to submit a photograph of your ID (e.g., Passport / Driver’s License), and a proof of a positive COVID-19 test result (either Lateral Flow/PCR), dated longer than 11 days ago and within 180 days.”
Travel guidelines for Northern Ireland
Travel guidelines to Northern Ireland remain unchanged for visitors travelling from Great Britain.
Current guidance requires travellers to take a rapid lateral flow test before departure and on certain days after your arrival.
Rapid lateral flow tests should also be completed on day two and day eight of your stay in Northern Ireland.
Those coming from Great Britain do not have to fill out a passenger locator form unless you have been outside of the common travel area the 10 days prior to travel to Northern Ireland.
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