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Coronavirus (COVID-19): how we can help 

  • The Government of Ireland has agreed a comprehensive approach to the repatriation of Irish citizens in the context of COVID-19.
  • Our focus is on helping our citizens who are normally resident in Ireland to return home safely on commercial flights wherever possible and, where not possible and if available, on chartered repatriation flights.
  • All Irish citizens abroad should register with their local Embassy or Consulate.

If you are normally resident in Ireland but temporarily stranded overseas due to COVID-19, with no immediate access to commercial or repatriation flights, the Department can:

  • give you advice on your options
  • give you general information on how to transfer money through commercial providers
  • help you to contact family and friends who can transfer money to you, if you need help to do this
  • help you to contact your insurance company or bank, if you are unable to do this
  • provide you with information about community or local organisations, where available, that could provide assistance
  • as a last resort, consider applications for an emergency repatriation loan, to be repaid in full within six months.
  • where citizens have turned down offers of assistance to return to Ireland they will not be eligible for financial assistance. 
  • as with all consular assistance, resources will be focused where they are most needed, based on an assessment of vulnerability in individual cases.

What we can and cannot do

If you have an emergency situation when you’re abroad, our consular staff are happy to offer you any assistance they can. However, you need to be aware that there are limits to the help we can give you.

We can:

  • Issue emergency passports/travel documentation (if certain criteria are met).
  • Advise and support you in the case of an accident, serious illness or death.
  • Help liaise with local police or other authorities, particularly if there is a language barrier.
  • Contact your family or friends on your behalf.
  • Visit you in prison if you have been detained.
  • Advance cash to you in an emergency situation provided that the amount you need has been lodged in advance with us at our offices in Dublin or Cork or at a Garda Station.
  • Provide a list of English-speaking lawyers, doctors or interpreters in a country.
  • Provide a list of local undertakers in the event of a death.

We can’t:

  • Offer legal or medical advice.
  • Request your release from custody or request that you are given preferential treatment while in custody.
  • Pay for your relatives or friends to visit you while in prison.
  • Get involved in commercial disputes on your behalf.
  • Get involved in any way in the legal processes in another country.
  • Pay your medical or legal bills (even on a temporary basis).
  • Advance cash to you (other than as above).
  • Deal with your insurance company on your behalf.