Ireland Now Requires COVID-19 Test for All Arrivals

The government of Ireland announced that all arrivals will have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test, regardless of vaccination status, starting immediately. 

The move is largely seen as a reaction to the spread of the omicron variant that was first found in South Africa and then spread to areas around the world, including Ireland, which has reported 11 suspected cases this week. 

Health officials in Ireland this week told the public to avoid non-essential travel so seven African countries because of the variant and also said that it would restart a mandatory hotel quarantine program in order to slow the spread of the variant. 

The new requirement will force anyone coming into Ireland, regardless of their vaccination status or their infection history, to show proof of an antigen test taken no more than 48 hours before arrival or a PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival. If someone is unvaccinated, only a PCR test will allow them to enter Ireland. 

Ireland had been allowing those who are vaccinated or have proof of recovery to avoid taking a test. 

The requirement will not include those coming in from Northern Ireland but will include those coming in from other U.K. countries like England, Scotland, and Wales. 

According to a report in Bloomberg, the goal is to remove the requirement as soon as possible. It will be in place for at least two weeks, but the Irish government plans to re-examine it after that. 

Ireland currently has around 90% of its eligible population vaccinated and has already has widened its booster program to include all aged 16 and older.

The full list of updated requirements can be found on the Irish government website. 

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