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Ireland exempt from new UK travel rules requiring Covid-19 test for arrivals

The new rules do not apply for those within the Common Travel Area – including Ireland.

Image: Shutterstock/Viacheslav Lopatin

IRISH PEOPLE TRAVELLING to the UK will be exempt from new travel rules announced by Boris Johnson yesterday. 

The UK prime minister said that all international arrivals must take a Covid-19 antigen or PCR test before the end of their second day in the UK.

The UK government has since clarified that anyone travelling to the UK from Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of man don’t need to:

  • Take any Covid-19 tests
  • Complete a passenger locator form
  • Quarantine on arrival

However, this only applies to people who haven’t been outside of any of these nations in the 10 days before arriving into the UK.

Anyone who has been in another country must follow the international travel rules in place on arrival. 

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said on Twitter he is “happy to receive” the confirmation the the new measures won’t apply to the Common Travel Area. 

The UK yesterday said it detected its first two cases of the new Omicron coronavirus variant. The two cases were identified in Nottingham and Brentwood, Essex, with both linked to travel to southern Africa.

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At a press briefing after the cases were identified, Boris Johnson ordered the return of mandatory mask-wearing in shops and on public transport, and for all contacts of Omicron cases to self-isolate for 10 days regardless of their vaccination status.

Face masks have not been compulsory in shops and on public transport in England since July despite rules remaining in place in other parts of the UK and Europe. 

The Omicron variant has not yet been detected in positive Covid-19 cases in Ireland. The strain was first confirmed earlier this month in South Africa.

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