THE US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has moved Ireland to its highest travel alert level due to concerns over Covid-19.
Avoid travel to Ireland” states the advice on its country travel advisory, adding: “if you must travel to Ireland, make sure you are fully vaccinated”.
Ireland had been on Level 3, the second-highest alert level, for several weeks, but was on Monday bumped up to Level 4, along with over a dozen other countries including Greece, Iran and Malta.
“Because of the current situation in Ireland, even fully vaccinated travellers may be at risk for getting and spreading Covid-19 variants,” the CDC says.
Other European countries on Level 4 include Greece, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. The UK is also on the highest alert level.
The US State Department has also placed Ireland on its ‘Level: Do Not Travel’ advisory, due to “a very high level of Covid-19” in the country.
On Monday, Ireland’s Department of Health reported 1,352 new cases of Covid-19, with 177 patients hospitalised and 27 in intensive care.
CDC and State Department travel advice is issued as guidance, rather than a legal requirement to travellers.
Fully vaccinated travellers from the US may enter Ireland without any travel-related testing or quarantine, as can travellers who have recovered from Covid-19.
However, those without such proof must present a negative PCR test result on arrival and self-quarantine for 14 days – a period which can be reduced by more than half following a second negative test result after Day 5.
A small number of Americans have travelled to Ireland since travel restrictions were altered on July 19, though nothing like the levels that would normally be seen in peak season.
The latest advisories will come as a blow to a tourism industry hoping to recover some overseas business after a devastating 18 months.
In addition to the new CDC advice, entry to the US continues to be prohibited to non-citizens travelling from Ireland, the UK and Schengen Area, among other destinations, under an ongoing Presidential proclamation.