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Please be advised that the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Travel Advice is now available at Ireland.ie/travel. Travel Advice on this webpage is no longer being updated. To ensure you receive the latest Travel Advice for Great Britain, please see Ireland.ie.

Great Britain

If you’re travelling to Great Britain, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

Security Status

  • Normal precautions
  • High degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Do not travel
  • Overview
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws and Customs
  • Additional information
  • Health
  • Embassy Contact



Security Status

Normal Precautions

General Travel Advice

Irish citizens do not require a visa to enter the UK.

Visitors to the UK are advised to follow the guidance of national and local authorities and stay fully informed of what's going on by monitoring local news and social media.

Citizens can also follow the Embassy on social media (Twitter @IrelandEmbGB and Facebook to ensure access to relevant updates and alerts. You can also follow us on Twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.

Emergency Assistance

The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

Further information can be found at the following pages: 

Safety and Security

Safety and security


The British authorities currently place the terrorist threat level for Great Britain at "substantial", the third highest alert level, which means an attack remains likely. There is still a global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by tourists and expatriates. Additional security measures are in place at airports, throughout transportation networks and at high profiles venues in Great Britain. Travellers may experience delays.


Crime remains relatively low in Great Britain but you should take sensible precautions:

  • Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
  • Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.

Reporting crime

If you’re a victim of a crime while in Great Britain, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy in London or the Irish Consulate in Edinburgh if you need help.


If you’re planning to drive in Great Britain, remember although the regulations are very similar to Ireland, you should always exercise caution.

If you want to drive:

  • Bring your full Irish driving licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught.

Vehicle hire

If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).


Local Laws and Customs

Local laws and customs

Illegal drugs

Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms.

Additional information

Entry requirements (visa/passport)

The Common Travel Area (CTA) in existence between Ireland and the UK (including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) enables British and Irish citizens to move freely within the CTA. The UK Government may require proof of citizenship so Irish citizens are advised to carry an acceptable form of identification document that shows their citizenship when travelling to Britain.

The UK Government advises that this could include:

-your valid passport or passport card  

-a copy of your passport or passport card with your identity and nationality clearly visible

-an expired passport or passport card, which Border Force are satisfied was issued to you originally

-evidence of having obtained Irish (or British) citizenship

However, this list will not be treated as exhaustive. Other documents, including providing more than one document, may be accepted. These will be considered on a case by case basis by the UK Border Force.

Please note, however, that some airlines and other carriers require that you have a valid passport before you can travel with them. Please check with your travel company regarding their requirements before travelling.



Travel Insurance

We can’t pay for emergency medical repatriation, repatriation of remains, or for expenses as a result of a personal emergency while you are abroad. If you buy an appropriate travel insurance policy, these costs will be covered, provided you haven’t broken the terms and conditions.

Buying comprehensive travel insurance can save you and your family a lot of money if something goes wrong. It will also ensure that you get the medical attention you need, when you need it. Hospital bills can quickly run into thousands of euro, and a medical evacuation back to Ireland can cost thousands more.

Not all policies are the same, and the cheapest one might be cheap for a reason. Make sure your policy covers all the activities you plan to do on your trip. Insurance Ireland recommend that you purchase a policy that provides a minimum medical cover of €1 million.

Ireland and the UK are part of the Common Travel Area and under the CTA Irish and UK residents can move freely between the two countries to live and work and have access to public services - including healthcare. Healthcare cover is provided under the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), which provides a framework for continued access to healthcare for people on a temporary visit to the UK.

Irish residents can demonstrate their eligibility to access necessary healthcare while on a temporary stay in the UK by presenting their European Health Insurance Card. In the absence of an EHIC any of the following documentation will be accepted as proof of eligibility for healthcare:

  • an Irish photocard driving licence
  • an Irish Residence Permit
  • an Irish medical or GP visit card
  • any two documents showing a person’s Irish address issued in the last 6 months and alongside photo ID.

In each case above the document presented must be current and in date. Where the document does not incorporate a photo, additional photo ID may be requested by the healthcare provider. 

Furthermore, it is recommended that you also obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs which are not covered under the TCA. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.

Medical treatment

Visitors requiring immediate treatment for serious injuries/illness should call 999 or go to the nearest hospital with an Accident and Emergency department (A&E). For minor illnesses and injuries there are a number of National Health Service (NHS) walk-in-centres, details on www.nhs.uk

NHS Direct provide a 24 hour telephone service for information on particular health conditions at telephone 0845 4647. The UK Department of Health provides full details on entitlements and costs for overseas visitors on their website www.dh.gov.uk


Irish citizens don’t require vaccinations for travel to Great Britain.


Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

Please note that if you require assistance in the case of emergency while the Embassy is closed, contact the main Embassy number, 0207 235 2171, and leave a message on the Duty Officer voice mailbox.

This mailbox will be monitored regularly.

Embassy of Ireland
17 Grosvenor Place,
London SW1X 7HR
Great Britain

Tel: +44 20 72352171
Fax: +44 20 7589 8450

Monday – Friday 9:30am to 12:30pm and 2:30pm to 4:30pm

Contact us

Consulate Contact

Consulate General of Ireland, Cardiff
2 Caspian Point
Caspian Way
Cardiff CF10 4DQ

Tel: +44 29 2045 5558

Monday to Friday 09.30 – 13.00 and 14.30 – 17.00

Contact us

Consulate Contact

Consulate General of Ireland
16 Randolph Crescent
Edinburgh EH3 7TT

Tel: +44 131 226 7711
Fax: + 44 131 226 7704

Monday to Friday 09.30 – 13.00 and 14.30 – 17.00

Contact us

Consulate Contact

Consulate General of Ireland for the North of England, Manchester
Lowry House
17 Marble Street
14th Fl.
Manchester M2 3AW

Tel: +44 161 638 9240

Monday to Friday 09.30-16.30

Contact us