Why Ireland may now be the best choice for fully vaccinated Brits looking for a summer holiday

Jul 23, 2021

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Travelling this summer remains a challenge as the United Kingdom struggles with reopened borders and new travel protocols. That’s why Brits who are fully vaccinated may want to consider Ireland as they plan a holiday, as it may be the most appealing and less challenging option.

From 19 July, aka “Freedom Day,” Ireland has opened up to travellers from around the world. It is also the only nation in Europe that currently allows fully vaccinated British citizens to visit without having to provide COVID-19 test results when arriving or exiting both countries as a result of its special Common Travel Area status.

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Another benefit: You don’t have to quarantine on either end if you have received both vaccine shots.

This could be quite enticing for many fully jabbed UK travellers who don’t want to be burdened with buying COVID-19 tests and monitoring updates to the traffic light system.

Related: What does Freedom Day mean for travel in the U.K.?

The Republic of Ireland isn’t part of the U.K., but because Ireland is part of the ‘Common Travel Area,’ residents have the freedom to travel from the U.K. to Ireland and vice versa as if it were domestic travel.

Aer Lingus, Ireland’s national airline is gearing up with the expectation that many Brits will choose Ireland as a stress-free holiday. The carrier is operating 109 weekly scheduled flights between Ireland and the U.K. More than half the routes are from Heathrow, with 29 services each week to Dublin Airport (DUB), 19 routes to Belfast City Airport (BHD), and 10 flights to Cork Airport (ORK).

Aer Lingus is also operating 18 routes from Manchester and Birmingham to provide customers with a variety of travel options.

“We are delighted to welcome our British customers back on board now that travel restrictions have been relaxed, reconnecting friends and families that have been kept apart for too long,” the airline said in a statement.

Related: 5 of the best hikes in Ireland

All British visitors upon arriving in Ireland must show proof they are fully vaccinated. This could be the NHS App COVID Pass, a vaccination status letter or an NHS vaccine paper card.

If you don’t have proof of vaccination, then you will need to provide evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival. You will also have to quarantine for 14 days. Travellers can, however, test out of the self-isolation period after five days if they test negative with a second PCR test, provided by the Health Service Executive in Ireland on day five.

This is similar to England’s Test to Release plan, which we go into in greater detail here.

Related: What kind of COVID test do I need to travel and what does it cost?

Children under the age of 12 travelling with vaccinated parents or guardians do not need to take a PCR test prior to travelling to Ireland. However, children aged 12 to 17 who are not fully vaccinated, must show a negative PCR test result when they land in Ireland, even if their parents/guardians are fully vaccinated.

The bottom line is, if you’re a resident of Great Britain, have received both vaccine shots and are seeking a holiday that is relatively stress-free, then Ireland should be strongly considered.

Related: 8 places to visit in Ireland besides Dublin

Featured image by Peter Zelei Images/Getty Images

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