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Traveling in Ireland during Covid

We are suppose to go to Ireland from the US in September. Curious if the trip will still be "worth it". We are vaxed and happy to mask up, but wondering if you still can get into restaurants, on trains etc. without too much hassle. Basically, do locals want us there at this time? Would love to hear about others very recent experiences in Dublin, Ennis, Dingle Limerick.
PS - first time using a forum so hope I'm doing it correctly

Posted by
3 posts

I haven't been there yet, but I am going at the end of this week. Everything I've read seems to me like it would still be "worth it" in that context. I think you just have to be prepared to show your vax card entering places and be willing to give your info (name and phone number sounds like) for any contact tracing needs and of course mask up appropriately. Other than that, it seems like Ireland does want us in general.

Posted by
5 posts

Wishing you all the best with your trip!! That's the feeling I get from reading. I was hoping someone has actually gone over to Ireland. If you have a spare minute, report back after (or during) your trip! Have magical fun!!

Posted by
2 posts

Hi all, I just came back from a long weekend in Dublin. We travelled from UK so didn't need tests but needed double vax. We had a nice time but was disappointed that the restrictions in place for live music made it a little boring. We didn't realise this prior to booking as its hard to find info anywhere, which is why I'm now posting here.

You can sit outside bars/restaurants to eat or drink no problem but for inside must provide proof of double vax and provide contact details. I'm pretty sure there's a 10pm closing also but we didn't stay out that late apart from trying to get a McDonald's lol.

In all a worthwhile trip, locals say entertainment should be back end of September.

Cheers

Posted by
32 posts

I just spent two weeks in Ireland (from the US) and it was totally worth it. With a caveat that we planned for and expected a vacation that was primarily walking around outside in mostly off-the-beaten-path locations.

I wrote up a report on our trip, focusing mostly on Covid related impacts, here: https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/ireland-august-2021

The locals we interacted with said they were happy to see some tourists coming back, everyone we spoke with was very friendly. There was a general sense of things slowly getting back to normal.

Posted by
9 posts

Just returned home to California after spending 3 weeks in Ireland. Definitely worth it! Be prepared to wear a mask indoors. Also, to eat indoors (pubs & restaurants) you had to show your CDC Vaccination card and passport. They would also request a name & phone number for contact tracing. In small towns, reservations are a must at restaurants due to less seats in the restaurants. Our B&B hosts would call and make reservations for us.

Most historical sites (and even museums) mandated reservations. Most where free, but you needed a timed reservation (for such places as Dublin Castle, Killarney Castle, Bru Na Boinne, etc). Distilleries and breweries need timed reservations also (plus a showing of your CDC vaccination card). Some stores and pubs may not be open, but locals where excited that visitors where beginning to come back. Unfortunately, Dingle Distillery was not open, but the town's shops are open and bustling.

Be sure to make your appointment for the COVID test at the Dublin Airport prior to your departure. We used Randox for the Rapid Antigen test. Paid 35 Euro per person. With the appointment, we walked in, took the test and had the results by the time we arrived at our airport hotel (took the test the night prior to flying out).

While the experience we had in Ireland might have been different than prior to COVID, we had a wonderful time.

Posted by
5 posts

Many thanks to everyone for the trip information. It's all been encouraging but unfortunately, with the recent Covid spikes around Ireland, we are thinking of cancelling. The numbers just aren't going in the right direction. Decisions, decisions..UGH!! The big worry is not being able to get home because of a positive test. We'll keep watching and reading but we only have a few days before we have to decide.

Posted by
1 posts

What did you end up deciding? It must have been a difficult decision. My mother-in-law is traveling to Ireland this week with Road Scholar, and my family is anxious about it. Our biggest concern is if she gets COVID while there, how would she get treated and receive necessary care, including meals? She is 80 years old. When we asked her this, she said Road Scholar has contingencies in place; but obviously, we’re not sure what that means.

Posted by
5 posts

We cancelled our trip and are sad about it. I just couldn't get past the need for the negative test before coming home. My understanding is if you test positive, you isolate until you get a negative result. I think (but anyone correct me if I'm wrong!) if you test positive BEFORE you leave your hotel, some hotels will allow you to extend your stay and you isolate there. That only works if they provide room service. If you test positive AT THE AIRPORT then you isolate where the government tells you. I've seen videos of some of those hotels and they look very comfortable. The expense is the issue....can you afford 10 plus days of extra hotel room/room service cost? And all this assumes no medical treatment is necessary. It's a risk and I feel we probably would have been fine . At 80 years old, that's a tougher call. Also, so much depends on how many people she will be in contact with throughout her trip.

On a positive note, by October a huge percentage of the Irish population will be vaccinated. The infection numbers are definitely heading the right way. Maybe you just need a bit of clarification with the sponsoring leaders of the group.
If she goes, she'll have a terrific time. You can't have a bad time in Ireland.