Severity: Warning Alert
Exit/Entry: Ireland lifts coronavirus disease-related self-isolation advisory for travelers from 15 countries as of late July 21.
- Alert Begins: 22 Jul 2020 07:07 PM UTC
- Alert Expires: 10 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Travel and business disruptions
Authorities in Ireland have begun allowing travelers from 15 countries deemed epidemiologically safe to enter Ireland without self-isolating upon arrival due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) activity. The nation's new "Travel Green List," which was released late July 21, includes Estonia, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Finland, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, and Slovakia. Authorities plan to review and update the list on a bi-weekly basis. All travelers, including Irish citizens, entering Ireland from other locations will have to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. All travelers must also fill out a passenger locator form indicating the address where they will be staying. Freight transport workers, maritime workers, and pilots are exempt from these measures. Authorities continue to advise against nonessential travel abroad for Irish citizens.
Phase 3 of the government's COVID-19 recovery plan has been extended through at least Aug. 10 due to an increase in the number of infections. Phase 4 had originally been scheduled to begin July 20. The government in Dublin had initially planned to ease COVID-19-related restrictions in five phases through Aug. 10.
As of July 22, most businesses and activities are permitted to resume provided strict hygiene and social distancing requirements are implemented. Restrictions that remain in place include:
- Pubs, bars, and casinos remain closed.
- A ban is in place on gatherings of more than 50 people indoors and more than 200 people outdoors.
- Individuals must practice social distancing of 2 meters (6.5 feet) where possible.
- Face coverings are mandatory on public transport and in other enclosed public spaces.
Ireland's borders remain open for international travel, though airports are operating on a reduced schedule. Public transport remains largely functional, though reduced services are provided in some areas.
Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.
Background and Analysis
The measures adopted by the government correspond with similar actions taken by other regional governments recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV2-virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. As countries relax blanket restrictions across Europe, authorities could begin to reintroduce sporadic, highly targeted measures in response to local COVID-19 outbreaks.
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.