COVID-19 and business tourism in Ireland
As countries around the world take their first cautious steps on the road back from COVID-19, planning for international business tourism activity is cautiously resuming. The top priority of Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority, is supporting Ireland’s business tourism industry to re-open and recover from the impact COVID-19 has had on the sector.
As a brand owned and operated by Fáilte Ireland, Meet in Ireland’s 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. Our focus here in Ireland is firmly on making 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.
International travel: EU Regulation on Digital Covid Certificates
The Irish Government has recently announced upcoming changes to the way international travellers can visit Ireland. Government advice to avoid non-essential travel and related penalties will remain in place until 18 July. From 19 July, subject to epidemiological developments, the approach for passengers arriving in Ireland whose travel originates within the EU/EEA will be:
- Passengers presenting a Digital Covid Certificate (DCC) will not be required to quarantine.
- Passengers who present a DCC based on a test not acceptable for travel purposes in Ireland (eg an antigen test) will be required to also present proof of a negative PCR test taken not more than 72 hours before arrival.
- Passengers without a DCC will be required to present proof of a negative PCR test taken not more than 72 hours before arrival.
- Children aged over seven and under eighteen (who are not vaccinated or recovered) will be required to present proof of a negative PCR test taken not more than 72 hours before arrival.
- All passengers will be advised to present for post-arrival testing if they develop symptoms of COVID-19.
- Once Digital Covid Certificates are in place, the Commission will adopt an implementing act for treating third country vaccination certificates as equivalent — or for issuance of such certificates to people vaccinated in third countries.
Passengers arriving from outside the EU
On 20 May the EU Council of Ministers adopted Amended Council Recommendation 912/2020 to amend restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU from third countries. Once Digital Covid Certificates are in place, the Commission will adopt an implementing act for treating third country vaccination certificates as equivalent - or for issuance of such certificates to people vaccinated in third countries.
You can check any changes in the considerations for July and August at 'Your guide to the changes - Resilience and Recovery: The Path Ahead'.
Up until 18 July, the following regulations are in place around international travel to Ireland:
- You should not travel to Ireland unless you have an essential reason for your travel.
- If you have to travel to Ireland, you must have proof of a negative or ‘not detected’ COVID-19 Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test taken within 72 hours of your arrival.
- By law, you must quarantine when you arrive into Ireland unless your journey starts in Northern Ireland.
- Mandatory hotel quarantine is in place for arrivals from certain countries.
All passengers arriving into Ireland from overseas are currently obliged to complete a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form before entry. For further details please see the Irish Government Advice Page.
Ireland’s national airline, Aer Lingus, has outlined important new measures and travel tips that will be in place to ensure passengers health safety when travelling to Ireland from abroad. These include enhanced air cleaning systems on all aircraft, 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.
Latest figures as of July 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.
As Meet in Ireland's trusted industry partners prepare to welcome business tourists back to Ireland, over 70 business tourism businesses have registered with the system. Destination Management Companies (DMCs) are proud to be compliant with the Safety Charter protocols, ensuring the protection of organisers and delegates. Professional Conference Organisers (PCOs) have also committed to the Safety Charter as they assist planners with queries on staging their MICE activities in Ireland
Destination Ireland support
Fáilte Ireland has developed specific guidelines for the business tourism industry [pdf, 1.15MB].
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.
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.