Get travel and medical insurance
- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
- Safety and Security
- Local Laws and Customs
- Natural Disasters and Climate
- Embassy Contact
General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation
General advice is to avoid non-essential travel, other than to any countries on the ‘Green List’ where the advice is to take normal precautions.
In accordance with Government policy, which is based on official public health advice, the Department of Foreign Affairs continues to advise against non-essential travel overseas (including to Great Britain but not to Northern Ireland), other than to any countries on the ‘green list’ where the ‘normal precautions’ security status rating will apply. The request to restrict movements does not apply to individuals arriving into Ireland from any countries on the ‘green list.’
On 15 September, the Government agreed that, for the period ahead, this ‘green list’ will be updated on a weekly basis, to include any EU / EEA countries with a 14 day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 of 25 or less, based on the latest data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Updates are being made on the basis of data each Thursday, with changes taking effect from the following Monday.
The Green List was reviewed again on the basis of the ECDC data on Thursday 15 October. As no EU / EEA countries were below the required 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases, it remains the case that there are no countries on the Green List. The new EU Recommendation on coordinating travel within the EU / EEA was adopted at the General Affairs Council in Brussels on 13 October. Implementation of this is for consideration by Government next week.
The situation in relation to COVID-19 continues to evolve quickly. Citizens who are considering travel to particular locations are advised to monitor news and information from the public authorities in their destination.
The latest updates will always be uploaded first to this General COVID-19 Travel Advisory. Country-specific tabs will be updated subsequently, and as quickly as possible, but this advisory is the primary source of information for the latest version of the list.
If you are considering travelling outside of Ireland:
Irish citizens travelling to any countries with a ‘normal precautions’ (“green”) rating are advised to follow the public health guidelines of the local health authorities and to continue to practice physical distancing measures, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette etc. Citizens who are considering travel to these countries are also advised to monitor news and information from the public authorities in their chosen destination. This includes information regarding possible restrictions on arrival from abroad, including from Ireland. The security rating for all other countries remains unchanged at either ‘avoid non-essential travel’ (“orange”) or ‘do not travel’ (“red”).
The purpose of the Department’s Travel Advice is to provide information to the general public so that individuals can make informed decisions for themselves. There are significant risks associated with international travel in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and this is likely to remain the case for the foreseeable future. Citizens should be aware of the possible limitations to any consular assistance that could be provided. Any citizens who are considering travel abroad, or those already abroad, are advised to monitor our travel advice, and follow us on Twitter. They are also advised to register with their local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.
Should you decide that you need to travel, you should inform yourself about any requirements in place in the destination to which you are travelling. Testing and restrictions may be imposed or may already be in place in other countries. Flight restrictions and route cancellations continue to occur worldwide and there is no guarantee that air routes will operate as scheduled. It is important to check with your insurance provider on coverage at this time.
Where additional restrictions apply within Ireland, these are listed on the Official website of the Irish Government.
Information about what to do on entering Ireland from abroad:
Where to go for further travel information:
- DFA Travel Advice for over 200 countries
- Follow us on Twitter
- Register with your local Irish Embassy or Consulate
Avoid non-essential travel
Security Status Last Updated: 24 September 2020 to take effect from 00.00 on 28 September 2020
Latest Travel Alert
Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
A number of cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have been confirmed in Iceland.
If you are in Iceland, you should monitor developments regularly and follow the advice of local authorities. See links to relevant websites below.
All visitors entering Iceland must choose to submit to either two screening tests for COVID-19, separated by five days quarantine, until the results of the second test are known OR choose not to undergo border screening and instead quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
For further information on Icelandic entry and quarantine requirements please visit: https://www.covid.is/categories/tourists-travelling-to-iceland
Please note that Icelandic authorities will not accept proof of test results.
Be alert to common signs of infection: respiratory problems, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Seek medical advice if you experience these symptoms.
HSE medical advice to protect yourself from getting COVID-19 is below.
• wash your hands properly and regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub
• cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze
• put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands
• touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Additional information on COVID-19 can be found via the following links:
Given recent terrorist attacks in European cities, Irish citizens are advised to follow the advice of police and local authorities and to exercise increased vigilance, especially if attending large public gatherings or other crowded locations. Attacks could occur at any time and could target tourist attractions, restaurants, transport hubs or other public areas.
Irish travellers may with wish to be aware that as of 28th March 2019 WOW AIR has suspended operations.
The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has issued the following information to passengers:
- If you purchased a ticket using a credit or debit card, chargeback may be an option. Please contact your card provider for further details.
- If you have taken out travel insurance, it may include airline failure cover usually known as Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance (SAFI). The insurance provider should be contacted for further details.
- If you booked through a code share partner of the airline (or booking agent) please contact them directly.
- If you booked your ticket as part of a package, please contact your travel agent or tour operator directly. If you did not purchase your ticket as part of a package, you are advised to self-repatriate by booking directly with other airlines. Some airlines offer rescue fares in certain circumstances.
- Please do not travel to the airport unless you have booked alternative flights.
Iceland is volcanically and seismically active.
The earthquake which took place in the area around Bárðarbunga volcano on Vatnajökull glacier in the east of Iceland, which began in August 2014, has ended. However, high levels of sulphur dioxide continue to be detected and the immediate area surrounding the eruption site remains closed to the public.
There have also been reports of higher than normal concentrations of sulphur dioxide in other parts of Iceland. If you have an existing respiratory condition you should take particular care and monitor reports from the Icelandic Met Office.
In addition, the weather in Iceland, particularly during the winter months, can be severe. Travellers should monitor local information available on the Safe Travel Website and the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration website and follow the advice of the local authorities.
Because there is no resident Irish Embassy in Iceland, we are limited in the help as can offer you in an emergency situation. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Honorary Consul in Gardabaer or the Irish Embassy in Copenhagen in Denmark.
You can contact the emergency services in Iceland by dialling 112.
EU Directive on Consular Protection
Under the EU Consular Protection Directive, Irish nationals may seek assistance from the Embassy or Consulate of any other EU member state in a country where there is no Irish Embassy or permanent representation.
Our tips for Safe Travels:
- Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities.
- Get a European Health Insurance Card
- Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
- Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
- Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
- Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.
Safety and Security
Safety and Security
Safety and security
The political situation in Iceland is reasonably stable but there can be occasional outbreaks of social unrest.
Always keep yourself informed of what’s going on around you by monitoring local media and staying in contact with your hotel or tour organiser. Avoid demonstrations and public gatherings, which can sometimes turn confrontational.
Although the threat from terrorism in Iceland is low, there is still a global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by tourists and expatriates.
Crime remains relatively low in Iceland 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.
If you’re a victim of a crime while in Iceland, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Copenhagen if you need help.
If you’re planning to drive in Iceland, you should exercise caution as road conditions may be hazardous, especially in winter when you should seek information on weather and road conditions before commencing your journey.
- Bring your full Irish driving licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance.
- Dimmed headlights are mandatory at all times.
- Note that it is illegal to drive off-road in Iceland.
Hiring a vehicle
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
Local laws and customs
Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or even illegal
You should carry personal identification at all times, for example either a passport or driving licence.
Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms.
Natural Disasters and Climate
Natural Disasters and Climate
Natural disasters and climate
If you’re travelling to Iceland, make sure you know what to expect – then plan and pack so that you’re prepared. Get local advice on how to manage in the case of a serious incident or dangerous conditions and co-operate with local authorities and emergency services in the case of serious incidents.
Volcanic activity in Iceland has increased in recent years and you should always heed local warnings. If you’re travelling to or living in Iceland, make sure you know what to do in the event of a volcano erupting.
Iceland is volcanically and seismically active
Police in Iceland have declared a Civil Protection Uncertainty phase due to recent seismic activity at Katla volcano. The contingency plan for an eruption has been activated accordingly. The uncertainty phase means that there is the possibility of hazards in the near future.
You can monitor current meteorological developments at http://en.vedur.is.
The healthcare system in Iceland is of a very high standard, and in the case of serious injury emergency, medical treatment is free of charge, although you will be charged for follow-up care.
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.
Your policy should cover:
- All medical care abroad, including evacuation by air ambulance, or other emergency procedures, and any other costs associated with an unexpected longer stay.
- Your entire trip, from departure to return. Consider an annual multi-trip policy if you’re making more than one trip in the year.
- 24-hour emergency service and assistance.
- Personal liability cover (in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property).
- Lost and stolen possessions.
- Cancellation and curtailment.
- Any extra activities you intend to do that are excluded from standard policies (e.g. water sport activities such as jet skiing or other extreme sports).
Exclusions: You should know most insurance policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents.
Entry requirements (visa/passport)
Irish citizens don’t need a visa to enter Iceland.
The currency of Iceland is the Icelandic krona. Credit and debit cards are commonly used for payments, although foreign cards often attract a surcharge.
If you need emergency assistance outside normal working hours, please dial the Embassy switchboard at +47 2201 7200. The mobile telephone number of the officer on duty will be available on the answering machine. Alternatively, you can contact the 24-hour duty officer in Dublin at +353 1 478 0822.
Embassy of Ireland
Haakon VII's Gt.1
Monday to Friday 09:00-16:30
Honorary Consulate Contact
Jens Thordarson/Consulate of Ireland
Nautholsvegur 50 (Icelandair Office)
Email: Email us
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.