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Travellers from Ireland to UK will not be affected by new Omicron variant restrictions

New tougher measures including PCR testing will be introduced for arrivals to the UK from Tuesday morning

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney

Rebecca Black

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney has welcomed confirmation that new UK restrictions to tackle the Omicron variant will not apply to travellers from within the Common Travel Area (CAT).

The CTA covers Britain, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and the Channel Islands.

New tougher measures including PCR testing will be introduced for arrivals to the UK from Tuesday morning.

All contacts with a suspected case of Omicron will have to isolate for 10 days, regardless of their vaccination status, amid concerns existing jabs will be less effective against the strain that is believed to spread rapidly.

However, it was announced today that the requirement by the UK for PCR tests for all overseas arrivals will not apply to the CAT.

Mr Coveney welcomed the move and clarified that travellers from Ireland to the UK will not be affected by the measures against the new Covid-19 variant.

On Saturday, the Department of Health announced its own measures to mitigate against Omicron, including mandatory home quarantine regardless of vaccine status.

Visa requirements have been updated and the advisory to avoid non-essential travel has been applied to those countries concerned, including Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Returning Irish residents will be required to undergo strict home quarantine regardless of vaccine/recovery/test status, and undergo PCR testing during quarantine.

The Common Travel Area (CTA) is an arrangement between the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland that gives a variety of rights to citizens of those countries. It includes more than the basic right to travel freely between both countries.


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