Tourists from Ireland can now enter South Africa and certain neighbouring countries without having to undergo expensive hotel-based quarantine with extra testing on their return to Ireland.
A total of 23 countries, including South Africa, that were previously on a list of ‘designated countries’, are no longer on the list, nor are travellers who have spent time in them in the 14 days prior to flying to Ireland. This means they are no longer subject to a hotel quarantine on arrival in Ireland.
The news was contained in an announcement on August 27 by Ireland’s Health Minister, Stephen Donnelly.
Sub-Saharan African countries removed from the designated countries list are South Africa, Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eswatini, Mozambique, Namibia, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
Valid proof of vaccination or of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 180 days will be required by travellers from these states to avoid quarantine and testing on arrival. Those without valid proof of vaccination or recovery will need to carry proof of a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Ireland, and will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days. From day five onwards, they may re-test and be released from self-isolation with a negative result.
A non-digital COVID certificate proof of vaccination means a record or evidence in written or electronic format, in English or Irish, or an official translation into Irish or English.
The approved vaccines are:
Both doses Pfizer – may travel after seven days;
Both doses Moderna – may travel after 14 days;
Both doses Oxford Astra-Zeneca – may travel after 15 days;
Single dose Johnson & Johnson – may travel after 14 days.
A non-digital COVID Certificate ‘proof of recovery’ means a record or evidence in written or electronic format in English or Irish or an official translation into Irish or English.
Children 12-17 who are not vaccinated or who do not have a certificate of proof of recovery will need to have a PCR test within 72 hours before departure. Children of all ages travelling with vaccinated or recovered parents need not self-quarantine, except where one accompanying adult has to self-quarantine – then all children must self-quarantine.