Important advice and tips if you are travelling abroad this summer

South Munster Citizens Information provides information and advice on travelling abroad, which may be of interest to anyone planning a summer holiday in the months ahead
Important advice and tips if you are travelling abroad this summer

RELAX: Ensure your documents, travel insurance and vaccinations are up to date before you go away

IF you are travelling abroad this summer, here are some things you should consider before you head off.

Covid-19 rules

“Some countries still have restrictions in place for travellers”, warn John Beausang and Yvonne Rayner, Cork City’s Citizens Information Managers. 

“You should check the public health advice before you travel.

“Check what documents you need to bring and check if any restrictions are in place. Each country has different entry requirements.

“Some countries may need proof of vaccination for Covid-19 while others no longer need it. You can use the EU Digital Covid Certificate to show you are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 if you are travelling to the U.S, for example. To avoid disappointment, always check the entry requirements of your destination before you travel.”

Travelling to China

If you are planning to travel to China, you should consult the Department of Foreign Affairs Travel Advice. Currently, Irish citizens are advised to avoid non-essential travel there. If you are travelling to China, you should wear a face mask for the full duration of your journey. You should also ensure you are up-to-date with all your Covid-19 vaccinations before you travel. There are no mRNA vaccines or other non-Chinese vaccines available in China.

Before you travel

Check travel advice and entry requirements for your destination

Check the travel advice and entry requirements for the country you are travelling to before you travel abroad.

You might need a visa, this depends on your destination. You can find out if you need a visa on the Department of Foreign Affairs website.

Is your passport in date?

Check your and your families’ passports are in date before you book. Passport Online is open to all applicants. Get information on how to renew your passport or how to apply for your child’s first passport there, or by contacting your local Citizens Information Centre.

Travel insurance

You should get travel insurance for yourself and your family. If you have a travel insurance policy already, or travel insurance is included in your health insurance policy, you should check you are covered for hospital treatment for Covid-19. Bring your European Health Insurance Card with you if you are travelling to the EEA or Switzerland. Ensure it is in date, it must be renewed every four years and each family member needs their own. An EHIC does not replace travel insurance.

Healthcare: United Kingdom

You cannot use your EHIC in the UK. But you can still get the healthcare you need. You will need to show your Irish passport to the GP or hospital. Irish people travelling in the UK are entitled to access healthcare through the Common Travel Area.

Healthcare: Australia

Ireland and Australia have a reciprocal health agreement. This means Irish visitors to Australia will receive emergency services and assistance towards the cost of prescribed drugs and medicines on the same basis as persons ordinarily resident in Australia.

Driving abroad

If you plan to drive abroad, ensure your Irish driving licence is valid and you bring it with you. Some countries outside the European Economic Area (the member states of the European Union, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) may require you to hold an International Driving Permit (IDP) in addition to your Irish driving licence. 

Always en sure you are properly insured for driving overseas.

Get more information on driving abroad from the Road Safety Authority or by contacting your local CIC.

While abroad

John and Yvonne advise: “It is worth making a note of the address, phone number and opening hours of the Irish Embassy or Consulate in the country you are visiting. If there is no Irish diplomatic or consular representation, you may seek emergency assistance from embassies or consulates of other EU countries.

“The Department of Foreign Affairs website has advice on what to do to stay safe while abroad and what to do in an emergency.”

Travel tips

More tips to help with your journey:

  • Check if you need vaccines or immunisations before you travel (at least 8 weeks in advance)
  • Make a note of the 24-hour emergency number of your bank so you can cancel your credit card or debit card if it is stolen.
  • Check your mobile data allowance with your mobile phone service provider. (For travel outside of the EEA).
  • Do you need to bring a special adapter to plug in your electrical devices?

Useful Websites

The Department of Foreign Affairs in Ireland provide travel advice to Irish people planning a trip overseas -

The HSE has information on preventing illness and infection while abroad -

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre provides advice for travellers on how to avoid illness on its website -

The World Health Organisation has information and advice regarding health and international travel - .

  • Telephone lines at South Munster Citizens Information in Cork city are monitored from 10am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday. In addition, the Cork City Centre CIC in Cornmarket Street is open to the public from 10am to 12.30pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays, while the Blackpool CIC is open to the public daily from 10am to 1pm, Mon-Fri

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