DUBLIN, Ireland, Monday 9th November 2020: Today marks the commencement of Ireland’s implementation of the EU Traffic Lights Approach to Travel in the context of COVID-19. This ‘traffic lights’ approach provides for regions across the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and the UK to be categorised as green, orange or red on the basis of the risk levels associated with COVID-19. A country’s status will be based on the 14-day rate of infection per 100,000 of the population as represented below and will be updated weekly with a minimum of 24 hours’ notice for all changes.

The new system is intended to bring greater consistency and transparency across Europe. In line with the EU Recommendation, there will be no entry restrictions on travellers from green regions. Details on the restrictions or requirements which will apply for travellers to Ireland from red or orange regions detailed within this document.

All passengers arriving into Ireland from overseas are obliged to complete a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form before entry.

Green Regions
A green region is one where the 14-day incidence rates of Covid-19 is below 25 people per 100,000 and the positivity rate for the disease is below a 4 per cent rate for those who have Covid-19. Those travelling to Ireland from green regions, will not be required to restrict their movements or quarantine at their destination country whilst travelling. Greenland is the only country categorised as a green region at present.

Orange Regions
Orange regions are those with a 14-day incidence rate of below 50 people per 100,000, but who have a positivity rate of more than 4 per cent. Such a positivity rate would indicate widespread transmission of the disease in the community. Orange countries can have a 14-day incidence rate of up to 150 provided their test positivity rate is below 4 per cent. Those travelling to Ireland from Orange regions will not be required to restrict their movements on arrival pending a negative test result of an appropriate pre-departure test three days prior to travel. Norway, Finland and parts of Greece are the only countries categorised as orange regions at present.

Red Regions

Those travelling to Ireland from red regions (all other regions as illustrated below) are currently required to restrict their movements for 14 days on arrival. For details on ‘restricting movements’ please see here. This requirement will remain in place until further notice as the Irish Government continues to work on putting in place testing services for arrivals from red regions. Pending this becoming available, the requirement to restrict movements on arrival will be waived following a
negative result from an approved Covid-19 test taken five days after arrival.

Travel advice for those arriving from Denmark
Until further notice, passengers arriving into Ireland from Denmark are requested to self-isolate for 14 days after their arrival, including those travelling for essential purposes. This restriction takes supremacy over the traffic light system and is in place due concerns relating to a new strain of Covid in mink there that has spread to humans. Information on self-isolation can be found here. Note, there are notable differences in the requirement to ‘restrict movements’ and ‘self-isolate’.

Are there any exemptions?
Under the EU traffic light system essential workers, including healthcare workers and transport workers along with those travelling for “imperative business or family reasons” and medical reasons, are exempt from restricting their movements. Students who travel abroad on a daily basis, diplomats, NGO staff, passengers in transit, seafarers and journalists, when performing their duties, are also exempt. As mentioned in our previous update, the Government continues to advise against non-essential travel for all countries not a green list. In discussing this with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Corporate Care Relocation have been advised that ‘non-essential’ travel principally refers to vacations only. Business travel and moving to Ireland for the purposes of work are not deemed to be ‘non-essential’ and our team remain capable of supporting our customers at this time.

Ireland remains at Level 5
Ireland remains at Level 5 under the government’s five-level plan to help the country live with Covid-19 known as the ‘Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19’. Level 5 is the most restrictive level of the plan, the following are the main features of Level 5: