Increased travel restrictions for incoming travellers into Ireland


What is the change?

On 26 January 2021, the Government 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.

Key points:

  • Implementation time frame: The change will come into effect from Thursday 28th January 2021.
  • Who is affected: This affects nationals of South Africa and all countries in South America
  • Next steps: Travellers without a negative test will also face a fine of up to €2,500 and/or up to six months’ imprisonment, while returning holidaymakers will face increased fine.
  • All visa-free travel from South Africa and all South American countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Falkland Islands (United Kingdom), French Guiana (France), Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela) will be halted temporarily. Individuals wishing to travel to Ireland from affected countries will now require an entry visa to enter Ireland.
  • There will be an increased Garda presence with checkpoints in the vicinity of all ports of entry and within 5km of the border to prevent unnecessary travel. Legislation will be introduced for the first time to impose fines on people travelling from Northern Ireland who are not essential workers.

Analysis & Comments:

The Irish government has made this decision as part of their efforts to mitigate the spread of the new variant of COVID-19.

All travellers arriving to Ireland must continue to complete a Passenger Locator Form prior to arriving at port of entry in Ireland.

Employers should consider that this may cause delays to intended start dates of their potential employees, if the employment cannot be carried out from home.

If you have employees or potential new hires who may be impacted by the above changes, please contact the Deloitte immigration team to assist.

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