New travel Covid test requirements are coming into force on Friday
The Irish Government has said that the Covid-19 situation in Ireland remains uncertain and of concern, with added uncertainty due to the potential impact of the Omicron variant.
In a statement issued this evening, the Government note the incidence of the virus is relatively stable but remains at high levels across all age groups and is continuing to have a significant and sustained impact across all aspects of the health service.
While there is some evidence of a move in the right direction in terms of people reducing their close contacts and cancelling future plans for social interaction, it is not yet at the level required in order to result in a significant reduction in the rate of transmission of Covid-19.
This means that we need to remain vigilant and do all we can to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.
Today, following public health advice, Government has agreed that:
With effect from 00.01 am on Friday 3 December 2021, persons arriving into the State from overseas who have been vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 will be required also to have a certified* “negative/not-detected” test result (i.e. not self-administered), from an antigen test taken no more than 48 hours before arrival* or a PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival. It is envisaged that current exemptions from testing (e.g. children aged 11 and under) would continue to apply, in line with existing regulations.
Air and sea carriers will be required to carry out pre-boarding checks for compliance, supplemented by BMU/GNIB spot-checks on arrivals at ports and airports
This measure will apply for a minimum period of two weeks, and kept under review with a view to removal as soon as possible thereafter taking account of the overall epidemiological situation.
Mandatory Hotel Quarantine
Government agreed that the Health (Amendment) (No. 3) Bill 2021 will be initiated in the Dáil or the Seanad upon finalisation of the text.
Public health advice recognises the potential value of more general use of antigen tests in particular situations if you do not have symptoms of COVID-19.*
Engagement has taken place with leading retailers and wholesalers on the availability of affordable antigen tests through the retail sector. Early indications are that prices reductions have already been brought forward by a number of large retailers in recent days. The pricing and availability of antigen tests continue to be closely monitored, with a focus on ensuring their continued availability to the public at affordable prices.
The public health advice is that the future trajectory remains uncertain. The three steps everyone can take to help reduce the spread of the virus are:
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