Ireland sets new entry rules for travelers

Travelers into Ireland will no longer need a COVID-19 test if they are fully vaccinated against or have recovered from COVID-19, said the Irish government on Wednesday.

The decision will take effect from Thursday. Those outside the new regulation requirements must provide a negative result of a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test taken within 72 hours before arrival in Ireland, according to a government statement.

From Thursday, fully vaccinated or recovered travelers into Ireland are only required to present evidence of a valid Digital COVID Certificate or other acceptable proof showing vaccination or recovery status, said the statement.

Prior to this, travelers into Ireland had to provide valid proof of a negative antigen test result taken within 48 hours or a PCR test taken within 72 hours before arrival in response to the emergence of the Omicron variant.

The government has dropped the requirement for vaccinated or recovered people because Omicron has become a dominant variant in Ireland and the old measure has a limited impact on the spread of Omicron, explained Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin in an interview with local media.

The Irish Department of Health on Wednesday reported an additional 17,656 confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing to 884,855 the total number of such cases in the country, which means that nearly 18 percent of Ireland’s entire population has been infected with the disease.

To date, there have been a total of 5,952 deaths related to COVID-19 in Ireland, including 40 deaths reported in the past week, said the department in a statement.