Hello! I would greatly appreciate any guidance or insights on finding out if it is possible for me to day-trip from Dublin to Belfast and back to Dublin, in my rental car, on the same day. We are staying in Dublin and really hope to go to Northern Island and visit Belfast just for the day. When we initially booked our trip to Ireland, this option was straightforward enough, but with the Omicron variant and new testing requirements that vary among nations (which I am happy to comply with) have left me utterly confused, and there is zero information on the web for rental car driving day-trippers.
Here's the deal: We depart the USA (LAX) on Dec 15, layover at London Heathrow for approx 2 hours, then catch our flight to Dublin, arriving on Dec 16 about 5:00pm. We will present our COVID PCR test results (that we will take at home on Dec 14 so within the 72 hours of arrival) to Dublin officials on Dec 16. We are picking up our rental car at the airport and spending Dec 16 and 17 in and around Dublin. Then on Saturday Dec 18 we would like to drive across the border into Belfast, spend the day in Northern Ireland, then drive back to Dublin the same day, returning approx 7:00pm. Then we will be in Dublin for Sunday Dec 19, and we depart on Monday Dec 20 for London Gatwick. (Sidenote, when we land at Gatwick we will take the 2-day PCR test and self-isolate until we receive a negative test result which is the UK's requirement).
Is it possible for us (family of 3, 2 adults and one teenager) to drive across the border and back again on the same day in regard to COVID rules?
Here is the policy for IRELAND as of today: From Friday 3rd December, all arriving passengers to Ireland regardless of vaccination status, will be required to present evidence of a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival. Yes, fine, will do.
If you have proof of valid vaccination or recovery, a negative RT-PCR result from a test taken within 72 hours or a negative, professionally administered Antigen test, taken within 48 hours of arrival into the country, will be accepted. All 3 of us are fully vaccinated including boosters.
You must complete the Passenger Locator Form online in advance of travel and is a requirement for boarding your flight. Absolutely, we will complete the PLF.
What will be required of us at the NI border? There are different rules than between Ireland and the UK.
Since Northern Ireland is part of the UK, would we be subject to the 2-day PCR test and self-isolation requirements like England? If yes then we could NOT go into Northern Ireland, which would be a major bummer.
This is the only somewhat applicable info I found on: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-travelling-within-common-travel-area#toc-0
-we are not staying overnight in Belfast, so that is a non-issue
-also we WILL Have been outside the CTA 10 days prior (at home in the USA, then 2 hour layover in London, then 2 nights in Dublin, then hoping to travel to NI for one day, so for those prior 8 days we are NOT in the CTA as we will be at home in the USA)
-do we have to do a Passenger Locator Form for NI if we are there for one day and not spending the night?Coronavirus (COVID-19): travelling within the Common Travel Area Travelling to NI from within the Common Travel Area If you're travelling from within the Common Travel Area (CTA) and staying overnight in Northern Ireland, you should take a rapid lateral flow device test (LFD) before you begin your journey. You should only travel if the test is negative. You should also take an LFD test on days two and eight of your stay. You should not travel to Northern Ireland if you have COVID-19 symptoms, or have received a positive COVID-19 result. You do not need to fill in a Passenger Locator Form if you're travelling from within the CTA and you have not been outside the CTA in the last 10 days.Thanks very much in advance for any help the Community can provide in this rapidly shifting COVID requirement situation between countries. Best, Lara Davis