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
- Embassy Contact
General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation
General advice to avoid non-essential travel and ‘Normal Precautions’ list of exemptions:
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. This includes Great Britain but does not apply to Northern Ireland. It also includes all travel by cruise ship.
Travel to a very limited set of locations is exempted from this advice. Individuals arriving into Ireland from these locations will not be required to restrict their movements upon entry. These locations currently have a ‘normal precautions’ (“green”) security status rating. As of 4 August 2020, these locations are:
Inclusion on the list is based on the current epidemiological situation and related public health information in each location. The list and related travel advice will be reviewed on a fortnightly basis, based on advice from officials, including public health experts. Any updates or changes will be based on Government decisions. 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. The above list was updated on 4 August following the latest review.
If you are considering travelling outside of Ireland:
Irish citizens travelling to locations 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. The security rating for all other locations remains unchanged at either to ‘avoid non-essential travel’ (“orange”) or to ‘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. The COVID19 pandemic continues to accelerate internationally, and there are significant risks associated with international travel. Citizens should be aware of the possible limitations to any consular assistance that could be provided. Any citizens who are considering travel abroad are advised to monitor closely our travel advice and we recommend that citizens download our TravelWise App and follow us on Twitter. Citizens travelling abroad should also 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 need to travel for essential reasons, you should inform yourself about any requirements in place in the destination to which you are travelling. Flight restrictions and route cancellations are happening on a daily basis worldwide and there is no guarantee that air routes will continue to operate as scheduled. Testing and restrictions may be imposed or may already be in place in other countries. It is important to check with your insurance provider on coverage at this time.
What to do on entering Ireland from abroad:
The Irish Authorities advise anyone coming into Ireland, apart from Northern Ireland and individuals arriving in Ireland from locations with a security rating of ‘normal precautions’ (“green”), to restrict their movements for 14 days, and this includes citizens and residents returning to Ireland. Restricting your movements means staying indoors in one location and avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible. To ensure that this is being observed all passengers arriving to Ireland from overseas are obliged to complete a mandatory Public Health Passenger Locator Form and to submit it to the relevant authority at their port of entry. For further details please see the Irish Government Advice Page. Exemptions are also in place for providers of essential supply chain services such as hauliers, pilots and maritime staff. Check the Irish Government Advice Page for full information on these requirements and further advice on returning from abroad.
Where to go for more information:
We continue to make updates to our online travel advice for over 200 countries and recommend that you download our TravelWise App and follow us on Twitter. If abroad you should register with your local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.
Avoid non-essential travel.
Security Status Last Updated: 17 March 2020
The State of Emergency in Romania ended on 14 May, Romania has now entered a State of Alert, during which progress in combatting COVID-19 will continue to be monitored. Currently over 55,250 cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have now been confirmed in Romania. The Country remains at level 4 of its 4 level preparedness programme to combat novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Quarantines have been imposed in Cartojani in Giurgiu County, Gornet in Prahova County, and the city of Faget and surrounding villages in Timis County. As the authorities attempt to deal with a recent spike in cases, travellers should be aware that local lockdowns may be imposed at any time with little or any advance warning.
Currently it is mandatory to wear facemasks in all outdoor locations in Arges and Dâmbovita Counties. From the 5th of August it will be mandatory to wear facemasks at outdoor locations in Bucharest. This includes in crowded open spaces, markets, fairs, bus and tram stations, railway stations, and in taxis. Face masks are also mandatory in the case of open-air events, with the organizers compelled to provide mask for the spectators. Participants at open-air events have to wear the face mask during the entire event, from the entry into the area until leaving. In all other counties facemasks are mandatory in enclosed spaces, including in supermarkets, stores, public transport, and in offices.
Work from home continues to be encouraged. Where it is not possible to work from home, employers have the obligation to provide safety and health measures for their staff, including a flexi-time work schedule if they employ more than 50.
Irish citizens should not travel to Romania unless your journey is absolutely necessary. The Romanian Government does not now require travellers from Ireland to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival in Romania. This exemption applies if people travelling from Ireland do not display Coronavirus symptoms. Direct flight services between Romania and Ireland by RyanAir and BlueAir have recommenced.
International road and rail transport has resumed.
A note requesting approval for transit through Romania is no longer required for EU citizens, the citizens of the European Economic Area, the Swiss Confederation and UK and Northern Ireland. With respect to travel within Romania people no longer require affidavits if they wish to travel within the Country.
The terrace (outdoor) sections of restaurants and bars have re-opened for service. Food and drinks can be made and sold by drive-ins and take away’s. Beaches have reopened but Sun bathers will have to maintain 2 metres distance from one another.
Shopping malls, except for restaurants, bars and playgrounds within the mall have re-opened.
Parks have re-opened, but playgrounds remain closed. Beauty and hair salons and dentist offices are opened.
See links below for details:
Information on the relevant Government Departments are updated in Romanian daily. An emergency number is provided in the event that you are concerned that you are concerned that you may have the condition: - 112
Link to: Ministry of Health: http://www.ms.ro/
Link to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: https://www.mae.ro/en/node/51759
Link to the Ministry of Interior: https://www.mai.gov.ro/category/comunicate-de-presa/
Link to General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations website: https://www.igsu.ro/?agreed=Accept
If you are in Romania, you should monitor developments regularly and follow the advice of the authorities, which is best accessed in English through the websites of a number of on-line English language newspapers:
Important information can be located on the following websites also.
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:
Romanians are friendly and welcoming people many of whom will happily converse in English especially in the capital, Bucharest. The majority of visits to Romania are trouble-free. Serious crimes involving tourists are not particularly common and most of those that do arise are petty and do not involve violence. There is no known threat of terrorism. Nevertheless, visitors to Romania are advised to take normal personal and security precautions, particularly at night.
Irish nationals do not require visas for visits to Romania. However, those that intend to stay there for longer than 90 days must register with the Romanian Authority for Immigration.
The official currency in Romania is the RON, often called Lei. Obtaining RON prior to travel can be difficult. However, on arrival cash can be withdrawn from ATMs.
Irish visitors to Romania are encouraged to register with the Irish Embassy in Bucharest.
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.
You can contact the emergency services in Romania by dialling 112.
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
There have been some reports of credit and debit cards being scanned or stolen and used illegally, as happens elsewhere. Use of ATMs is generally safe but some precautions should be employed, such as only using those in department stores or hotel or airport lobbies.
As would be expected in large urban locations, there are occasional reports of pickpockets and bag snatchers operating in crowded areas. Confidence scams leading to theft of passports or wallets have also been known to arise where thieves claiming to be police approach visitors and ask for ID. The Romanian police do not generally ask people for documentation without good cause and in the event of any reason for suspicion visitors should offer to go the nearest police station.
Ideally, where they are not expected to be needed, valuables and other items such as spare jewellery, passports, driving licences, credit/debit cards and excess cash should be secured in a hotel safe.
While the water supply in Romania is not known to be contaminated, use of bottled or filtered water is recommended as a safer option.
Although a decreasing problem, Romania has a significant population of stray dogs. While these do not usually pose a danger it is strongly recommended to avoid contact with them as they can be agressive and some could be rabid.
The Carpathian Mountains of Romania are famous for their wilderness and beauty but are also home to large populations of bears and wolves. While they try to avoid humans, it is recommended when visiting remote areas to travel in groups and to take expert advice locally.
Local Laws and Customs
Local Laws and Customs
Local laws and customs
Visitors are required to carry photo ID in Romania; a photocopy of passport or driver’s licence should suffice for this purpose.
Inappropriate or insensitive behaviour or activity in public is likely to offend others and risks prosecution or even a violent reaction.
Bucharest has a good Metro system. It and other towns and cities are serviced by buses, trams and taxis which are very good value by western European standards. Romania also has a good network of inter-city trains. Motorways are not extensive.
Some Romanians drive erratically and at excessive speeds and vehicles are not always fully roadworthy. Serious road traffic accidents regularly occur. Visitors entering Romania by road or driving there should ensure that they have adequate insurance cover. Insurance companies or brokers should be consulted in advance about this, if necessary. Drivers in Romania must also be in possession of a driving license and car ownership documentation.
All vehicles must pay a general road toll (see http://www.roviniete.ro/en). This “Roviniete” ticket can be purchased at border points and at most petrol stations throughout Romania, and should be prominently displayed on the vehicle windscreen.
The traffic police are known to apply on-the-spot penalties for infringements of traffic regulations, including the retention of driving licences for up to three months in very serious cases.
In winter, drivers should ensure that vehicles are prepared for extreme weather conditions, including fitting mandatory winter tyres.
Roads, including primary roads, can be of poor standard, badly lit, pot-holed and with barely visible markings. Appropriate precautions should be taken, especially at night.
There is zero tolerance for drink-driving and permitted blood/alcohol ratios are below those in Ireland.
In Romania, taxis are relatively inexpensive. In general it is recommended that taxis are booked using one of the various methods available, rather than hailed on the street. This is especially the case where vehicles do not have a meter or display fares. Some visitors have reported incidents of overcharging, especially from airports and major train stations - some taxi drivers will offer a fixed price to the city centre which may appear reasonable but could be significantly in excess of the normal fares in Romania. Visitors arriving at the airport are advised to decline any taxi offers in the arrivals area but instead to avail of one of the simple-to-use automated taxi ordering services in the arrivals hall.
Natural Disasters and Climate
Romania has four distinct seasons. Summer temperatures can rise above 40 degrees whereas winters can be very cold, with temperatures often as low as minus 20, sometimes with heavy and prolonged snowfalls.
Romania is in a seismically active zone. The most recent serious earthquake occurred in 2011 with a magnitude of 5.5. There were no casualties or significant damage. The last earthquake that caused fatalities was in 1977 and while it is not an exact science it is estimated that another may be due in the current decade.
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.
European Health Insurance Card
As an Irish resident you are entitled to get healthcare through the public system in countries of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland if you become ill or injured while on a temporary stay there. Ensure that you get or renew your EHIC (the new name for the E111) before you go, and remember, you need one for every person travelling in your group.
The EHIC is not a substitute for proper travel insurance provided by a reputable insurer. It doesn’t cover medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or treatment of a non-urgent nature. Also, some private hospitals may not accept the EHIC, so you should check with the hospital administrator beforehand.
In case of a genuine consular emergency while the Embassy is closed, please leave a message with name, location and telephone number at +4021 310 2131 and the Duty Officer will call you back.
Embassy of Ireland
50-52 Buzesti St
3rd Floor, Sector 1
Monday to Friday 09:30 to 12:30; 14:00 to 17:00
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.