What you need to know before travelling home to eastern Europe this Christmas

What You Need To Know Before Travelling Home To Eastern Europe This Christmas What You Need To Know Before Travelling Home To Eastern Europe This Christmas
People have been asked to avoid all but essential travel, with the Government urging people to "use common sense" when deciding whether to go abroad.
Share this article
Muireann Duffy

The advice surrounding international travel over the Christmas period has been confusing for many.

Despite eased Covid-19 restrictions, the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) has urged people to avoid all but essential travel, while the Government has said it is up to the individual to determine what they consider essential.

For many Irish people living abroad, the decision whether to return home for Christmas is a tough one, but that decision is also being faced by thousands who came here from overseas.

According to the last census in 2016, people from central and eastern European countries accounted for a large percentage of the Republic's non-Irish national population.

Poland had the largest number of people from these areas resident in Ireland, with 122,515 entering their nationality as Polish in the last census, followed by Lithuania (36,552), Romania (29,186) and Latvia (19,933).


Slovakia and Hungary each have over 9,000 citizens resident in Ireland, while Croatia and the Czech Republic both have figures in the region of 5,000.

Just as the second wave of the virus sent case numbers soaring in Ireland, countries on the continent felt a similar, if not more intense sting.

According to the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC), Poland currently has a 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 of 396.6, while Lithuania is more than three times that at 1,205.9.

Although the EU traffic light system was established to aid the revival of the aviation sector, in practice, there is little it could do to improve travel opportunities when the transmission of the virus once again worsened throughout Europe.

Currently, all regions in the Republic of Ireland are classed as orange, while the majority of mainland Europe remains red.

Thirty European countries are included in the traffic light system, including Poland, Lithuania, Romania, Latvia and Slovakia. The full list of countries can be viewed here.

Limiting movements

For people thinking of travelling home for Christmas, Ireland's orange status would allow them to travel to countries signed-up to the system without the need to quarantine on arrival if they supply a negative Covid-19 test, taken no more than three days before they enter the country.

What Covid restrictions are in place across Europe...
Read More

For the return leg of their journey, if they are coming from a red or grey region, they will be required to limit their movements for 14 days when they arrive back in Ireland.

However, they may take a PCR test five days after arrival which will allow them to stop limiting their movements if it returns negative. For those coming from orange zones, the process is the same as the first leg of their journey from Ireland.

Each countries' status under the traffic light system is being monitored and updated using ECDC data. Up-to-date statuses can be found here.

Passengers are reminded that they are required to abide by the public health guidelines of the country they travel to and should seek information from the relevant country's authorities prior to arrival.

Read More

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© BreakingNews.ie 2022, developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com