Travel to NI

Travel to NI

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Posted Mon 9 Aug 2021 11:14 AM
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Hello,

We are planning a trip to Ireland from Spain in September to do a road trip around the island. We would like to include Northern Ireland, but we are unsure about the restrictions.

We wouldn't be staying more than one night in Northern Ireland, is this possible? If so, how do we need to take the test?

Thank you for your help!
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Posted Mon 9 Aug 2021 1:22 PM
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Hello Tomás,

It's great to know you are planning to travel to Ireland. 

Coming from an amber country, such as Spain, and if you have been vaccinated in the US or Europe, you will not need to quarantine or provide a test before entering Northern Ireland. Taking a negative test on the second day is still required, but if you are not staying more than one day in Northern Ireland, then this is not necessary. However, if you are not vaccinated, you will need to provide negative tests before entering Northern Ireland, plus self-isolate for 10 days.

You can find the full list of restrictions to enter Northern Ireland on the government's website 

We can also reply in Spanish if this is easier. Let me know if you have another question.

Have a great day,

David
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Posted Mon 9 Aug 2021 1:57 PM
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Hello David,

Thank you for your fast answer! I'll reply in English in case anyone else is interested in this topic, but thanks for the offer

I have a couple of questions:
- We are vaccinated, so it's not needed a covid test before entering? I understood from the website that it was mandatory even if vaccinated
- Our plan was entering Norther Ireland, spend the night and leave on the next day. In that case, would the second day test be necessary? I can't find on the website information about short travels
- If we stayed there just for one day and didn't need to take the second test, isn't the order number asked in the locator form? How do we fill that if we don't take it? Or the locator form isn't mandatory either in this case?

Thank you for your help!

Tomás

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Posted Tue 10 Aug 2021 11:03 AM
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Hello again!

You are right indeed, on the gov.uk page about travel restrictions in Northern Ireland, it states that if you're travelling to Northern Ireland from Spain, including the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands (Formentera, Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca), you are advised to take a PCR type test before travel. 

As for the test, since you're going to stay only one day in Northern Ireland, you won't need to take the test on day 2 but you'll need to complete a passenger locator form online before you arrive in the UK even if you are only transiting through it. 

However, you do not need to complete the passenger locator form or book COVID-19 tests if you’re travelling from the Republic of Ireland or the CTA, and you were there for 10 days or more. 

¡Que pases un feliz día!

Valentina
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Posted Tue 10 Aug 2021 11:38 AM
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Hello Valentina,

Thank you for your answer!

One more question, do we have any information on how is the border control when crossing by road? Do we need to go expecting long queues or is it a fast process?

Thanks again!
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Posted Tue 10 Aug 2021 1:19 PM
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Hello Tomás,

There are no border control crossing points on the border between the Republic of Ireland and Norther Ireland, however, we suggest that you have all the required documents at hand in case you are checked by the authorities from ROI or NI.

You can find more information on this article of our website.

Saludos, 

Valentina

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Posted Tue 14 Sep 2021 10:05 PM
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Hi, I'm heading to Spain on holidays, from Donegal and flying out / in through Belfast.
The rules seem a bit vague about travel from Spain, the nidirect website says

Requirements for travelling to NI from an amber country
if you are fully vaccinated
If you have been fully vaccinated under the UK vaccination programme, you do not have to self-isolate or take the day eight post-arrival test if arriving into Northern Ireland from an amber country. Fully vaccinated means that you have had your final dose of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before the date you arrive in Northern Ireland.
However you must still: provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to three days before departure book and pay for a day two COVID-19 PCR test complete a UK passenger locator form within  48 hours of departure

And then it says

"Travel from Spain and its islands
If you're travelling to Northern Ireland from Spain, including the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands (Formentera, Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca), you are advised to take a PCR type test before travel."
So you MUST have a Covid test if travelling from an amber list country, but only ADVISED to have one if coming from Spain? I'm wondering then if there is no legal requirement to complete a Covid test prior to flying in from Spain.. am I right?

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Posted Wed 15 Sep 2021 8:40 AM
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Hi Edward,

Why going to Spain when there is so much to see on the island? 😉

Regarding flying to NI from Spain, it may change depending on which list Spain is at the time of your travel back home.
This NI Gov website is a good place to stay up to date. I will advise you to check a few days before your planned return.
As you can see, they have a special mention regarding popular destinations in the amber list, which includes Spain.
Here is the link to the specific requirement as of today, 15/09, where they advise getting the test prior to travel.

Are you flying back to Belfast to go straight to Donegal or are you planning to stay in NI?
If you are going to Ireland you may have to fill also the Passenger Locator form, more information here.

I hope this helps clear any doubt you have and wish you a great holiday.

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Posted Wed 15 Sep 2021 7:29 PM
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Unfortunately I'm afraid your reply doesn't shed any further light on my query,  "they advise getting the test prior to travel." so I am not obliged? it is not mandatory? just trying to clear this up, 
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Posted Thu 16 Sep 2021 9:52 AM
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Hi Edward,

I understand that you are looking for a definite answer. Have you tried to contact the local authorities directly?
You can find the contact details of the Covid19 regulations department here.



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