Ireland to require negative Covid-19 test from all travellers from Saturday

Henrietta Brewer
January 14, 2021

On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the new policy, which will go into effect on January 26.

From 4am on January 15, passengers arriving in England by boat, train or plane - including United Kingdom nationals - will have to take a test up to 72 hours before leaving the country of departure.

Ireland has reported an increasing prevalence in the last three weeks of the new more transmissible COVID-19 variant first discovered in neighbouring Britain. It is created to try to prevent travelers from bringing in new forms of the virus that scientists say can spread more easily. The health agency said it delayed the start date until January 26 to give airlines and travelers time to meet the requirements. The airline already waives change fees, which it has been doing since the pandemic upset the travel world. USA TODAY has reached out to the CDC and Airlines for America for comment. The agency said it hoped the new testing requirement would help slow the spread of the virus, now surging in the United States, as the vaccine rollout continues.

Travellers arriving from Great Britain and South Africa will still be obliged to self-isolate for 14 days after their arrival in Ireland, even if they undergo a second PCR test after entering the country.


If a passenger has already been infected with COVID-19, they must provide paper or electronic documentation confirming they recovered from the disease to the airline.

"Testing does not eliminate all risk", said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, MD.

Pressed on whether this means a new travel ban being imposed on Brazil, he said: 'We are taking steps to ensure that we do not see the import of this new variant from Brazil'.

Global travel is banned under England's latest lockdown rules unless for "legally permitted reasons", government guidance states, for example work. This is going to do nothing for that, Jha said.


The move has the USA joining many other countries and even some states such as Alaska and Hawaii that require visitors be tested for the virus.

But the new order may stop or diminish spread of other new versions of the virus, like one recently identified in South Africa.

Airlines have been pushing for pre-flight testing instead of continued travel restrictions between the US and the rest of the world. In some cases, they have arranged for passengers to avoid quarantines after arrival by getting tested before their flight.

Testing is key to unlocking worldwide borders and safely reopening global travel, said Nicole Carriere, a spokeswoman for United Airlines, one of three major US carriers that flies to Europe and Asia.


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