COVID-19 and business tourism in Ireland
As countries around the world continue to grapple with COVID-19, international business tourism activity remains largely on hold.
Our focus here in Ireland is firmly on making the future of meetings, events, conferences and incentives in this country as safe as possible; below, we'll keep you fully up-to-date with everything you need to know about reopening guidelines and progress here.
As we continue to navigate the global health crisis, Ireland's first priority is the health and safety of its people, including those who plan to make their way here for memorable business event experiences in the years to come.
Ireland and the Coronavirus: an update
In September 2020, the Government launched the "Living with COVID-19 Medium-Term Plan" (now the 'Plan for Living with COVID-19'): a five-level roadmap initially designed to help control the spread of COVID-19, it has since been updated to include longer-term management. Fáilte Ireland (our National Tourism Development Authority) regularly updates a series of Operational Guidelines to reflect the Government’s Public Health advice as part of the Plan; these can be viewed on the COVID-19 Business Supports Hub.
Until at least March 5 2021, Level Five restrictions are in effect in Ireland. At this level, the public health risk means that you will be asked to stay at home, except for travel for work, education or other essential purposes; or to take exercise within 5km of home. There will be no gatherings other than small numbers at funerals and weddings.
As of 26 January, there was an extension of Level Five restrictions, including the introduction of measures for international travel. These include:
- An increase to the fixed penalty for breach of the rules relating to international travel.
- Increased Garda checks and enforcement activity relating to people travelling internationally who are in breach of Level 5 rules.
- The existing regulations requiring pre-departure PCR tests will be extended to 5 March.
- A range of mandatory quarantine measures will be introduced, applying to all international arrivals (find more details on the government website).
- Restriction of travel from South Africa, Brazil and other South American countries, including suspension of visa-free short-term visits, until 5 March.
- travel to and from work, where work involves providing an essential service
- teachers, SNAs and other school staff will be allowed to travel to school to facilitate distance learning
- to attend medical appointments and collect medicines and other health products
- travel to attend disability day services
- travel to attend a court
- for vital family reasons, such as providing care to children, elderly or vulnerable people, and in particular for those who live alone, but excluding social family visits
- for food shopping
- for farming purposes (food production or care of animals)
- to attend a wedding or funeral
- to visit a grave
As the National Tourism Development Authority, our top priority is supporting Ireland’s business tourism industry to survive, re-open and recover from the catastrophic impact COVID-19 has had on the sector. This crisis is affecting business tourism in every corner of the world and the road ahead is uncertain.
Our other concern is the provision of up-to-date information to business event planners around the world, so that they have the full picture of Ireland's progress in the fight against the virus. We will provide you with Ireland's step-by-step public health actions to protect people and businesses, so that you can make decisions about where to travel in future years with full confidence.
Ireland’s approach has been and will remain one of safety first, with public welfare the number one priority of the tourism industry and Government.
For official advice and news on Ireland and COVID-19, visit Gov.ie, the central government information portal. For advice on staying safe during the health crisis and to find out more about the services available in Ireland, please visit Ireland's Health Service Executive.
Latest figures as of February 2021
Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority, has launched a new COVID-19 Safety Charter designed to promote the new and robust safety measures undertaken by tourism businesses around Ireland and instil public confidence in the safety of these premises when they are allowed to re-open. The Charter highlights Ireland’s focus on public health and confirms to event planners and visitors that businesses have committed to adhering to the correct safety measures and hygiene protocols.
Air access for international visitors
All passengers arriving into Ireland from overseas are obliged to complete a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form before entry. For further details please see the Irish Government Advice Page.
The Irish Government currently advises anyone coming into Ireland (apart from those coming from Northern Ireland or a country on Ireland's Green List) to restrict their movements for 14 days; this includes citizens and residents returning to Ireland (restricting your movements means staying indoors in one location and avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible).
Ireland will start implementing the European Union’s traffic light system for non-essential EU travellers such as tourists. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control will publish a weekly map, with countries and regions categorised as green, orange or red depending on their COVID-19 risk levels.
People arriving in Ireland from red regions are required to restrict their movements for two weeks. Passengers from orange regions can avoid the restriction, if they have a negative COVID-19 test result taken no earlier than three days prior to departure. Travellers from green regions can enter the State without restricting their movements or undergoing a test.
Ireland’s national airline, Aer Lingus, has outlined important new measures and travel tips which will be in place to ensure passengers health safety when travelling to Ireland from abroad. These include enhanced air cleaning system on all aircrafts, air filtration technology and mandatory face coverings.
Stay up-to-date with the latest travel guidelines from the HSE and access the latest travel guidelines from the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Destination Ireland support
Fáilte Ireland is in the process of developing specific guidelines for the business tourism industry.
During these times, Fáilte Ireland is offering financial support to help you bring delegates to Ireland when it is safe to do so. Find out more about the supports available for corporate meetings, incentive programmes and association conferences or book a one-on-one chat with a Meet in Ireland team member by filling out our contact form.