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Testing times All travellers arriving in Ireland must produce negative Covid test from this Saturday

The test must also be carried out by a laboratory and rapid antigen tests will not be accepted.

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Photo by Steve Humphreys

Photo by Steve Humphreys

Photo by Steve Humphreys

All travellers arriving in Ireland will have to produce a negative Covid-19 test from this Saturday.

The negative test must be acquired by the passenger within the three days before they arrived in Ireland.

The test must also be carried out by a laboratory and rapid antigen tests will not be accepted.

Airport border management will ask passengers to produce the test result on arrival and failure to do so may result in a fine.

The move follows strict rules being imposed on travellers arriving from Britain and South Africa due to emergence of new strains of the virus in both countries.

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A notice for arriving passengers at Terminal 2 in Dublin Airport (PA)

A notice for arriving passengers at Terminal 2 in Dublin Airport (PA)

A notice for arriving passengers at Terminal 2 in Dublin Airport (PA)

However, today the Cabinet agreed to extend the regulations on foreign travel to all countries as they struggle to contain the biggest outbreak of the coronavirus since last March.

Until now, the Government was taking part in an EU Commission designed traffic light system for international travel. Under this plan, different rules applied to travellers depending on the spread of the virus in the country they were travelling from.

The requirement for a negative test will now supersede the EU regulations for travel. However, the EU rules still apply to passengers once they arrive.

Travellers from Green and Orange countries will not have to restrict their movements once they arrive with a negative test. Those arriving from Red countries will have to restrict their movements for five days on arrival. However, if they get a clear test after the five days they will no longer have to restrict movements.

Passengers from Britain and South Africa will have to restrict movements for 14 days even with a negative test.

There have been long-running debates between departments during the pandemic over tighter rules on international travel and the use of antigen tests.

The National Public Health Emergency Team has urged the Government against using them as they are not as reliable as so-called PCR tests which are carried out in laboratories.

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan has drafted the new regulations for international travel with Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney.

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