Ireland (16 June 2021) – Mandatory hotel quarantine restrictions amended. Department of Justice lifts the entry visa requirement for nationals of South Africa, Brazil, and other South American countries

Impact - Medium

What are the changes?

  1. Individuals travelling into Ireland from a ‘high risk’ country, or who have travelled through a ‘high risk’ country, are now required to complete a 14 day mandatory hotel quarantine in a designated quarantine facility, immediately upon arrival in Ireland. Individuals arriving into Ireland without a negative or ‘not detected’ RT-PCR test must also complete this 14 day mandatory hotel quarantine, regardless of where they have travelled from.
  2. Department of Justice lifts entry visa requirement travel for nationals of South Africa, Brazil, and other South American countries that did not require an entry visa prior to 28 January 2021.

Key points for hotel quarantine restrictions:

  • Implementation time frame: The changes in hotel quarantine restrictions took effect Tuesday 8 June from 4am.
  • Who is affected: Nationals travelling into Ireland from countries listed on the designated ‘category 2 list’. This refers to travellers who have been in or to a ’high risk’ country in the last 14 days before entry to Ireland, including transit travel through these countries. Category 2 countries (as of 8 June 2021) include:
    • In Africa: Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cape Verde, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe
    • In Asia: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Sri Lanka, The Philippines, United Arab Emirates
    • In Europe: Turkey
    • In North America: Canada, Costa Rica
    • In South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela
  • Next steps: Employers should update their employees who are seeking to enter Ireland after 8 June 2021. Affected travellers will be required to complete 14 days of mandatory hotel quarantine at a designated facility. The accommodation must be pre-booked and paid for before travelling to Ireland.

Once the traveller has reached their port of entry, they will be met by members of the Defence Forces who will ensure that the traveller is safely and securely transported to the location in which they will complete their pre-booked mandatory hotel quarantine. On completion of mandatory quarantine, the traveller will receive a letter confirming this.

If affected travellers do not fulfil the legal requirement for mandatory hotel quarantine, they are committing an offence and can be fined up to €2,000 or get a prison sentence of up to 1 month, or both.

Exemptions to the mandatory hotel quarantine include:

  • Travellers arriving into the State in the course of duty and who hold a valid Annex 3 certificate (ensuring the availability of goods and essential services).
  • Travellers arriving in the State in the course of duty and who are drivers of a heavy goods vehicle.
  • Airline pilots, aircrew, maritime master or maritime crew and who arrive in the State in the course of performing duties.
  • Those travelling to the State pursuant to an arrest warrant, extradition proceedings or other mandatory legal obligation.
  • A member of An Garda Síochána or Defence Forces (or their equivalents from another state) and travelling to the State in course of duty.
  • Those travelling to the State for unavoidable, imperative and time-sensitive medical reasons and these reasons are certified by a registered medical practitioner or person with equivalent qualifications outside the State.
  • Those having been outside of the state 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 the State.

Individuals who meet the vaccination requirements or whom are travelling with dependants are also excluded from the requirement to complete mandatory hotel quarantine.

Key points on lifting of the entry visa requirement for nationals of South Africa, Brazil, and other South American countries:

  • Implementation time frame: The changes come into force as of 16 June 2021
  • Who is affected: Nationals of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Guyana, Paraguay, South Africa, Uruguay
  • Next steps: Employers should update their employees who are seeking to enter Ireland.

Analysis & Comments: 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 states will be subject to change at short notice and passengers are required to check the list before travelling to Ireland, to be sure of their obligations.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your designated Deloitte contact. Impacted employees will be kept informed of any changes.

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