All travellers coming to Ireland will have to show a negative Covid-19 test prior to departure from this Saturday onwards. 

People arriving from Britain and South Africa were already required to provide a negative test following announcements last week, but the latest move covering all international passengers will bring the country in line with most of Europe.

The test proving the traveller does not have Covid-19 must be taken within 72 hours prior to arriving in Ireland.

Checks will be carried out at Dublin Airport by the Border Management Unit and by An Garda Síochána at other points of entry, according to a government statement.

Under the EU traffic light system, arrivals from grey, orange and red list nations, as well as any country outside the EU, must restrict their movements for 14 days.

This requirement may be waived if the person gets a negative test result after arriving in Ireland, except for travellers from South Africa and Britain.

Passengers from green list countries do not have to restrict their movements upon arrival.

Some exemptions from mandatory testing will be applied to certain transport workers and members of An Garda Síochána, whilst all children under six will also be exempt.

The testing requirement will not apply to those crossing the border from the six counties.

WHO chief Michael Ryan expressed his concern about the situation in Ireland yesterday, telling reporters the country had “done extremely well” in previous surges, but now faced “one of the most acute increases in disease incidence of any country”, laying the blame on social interactions rather than new variants of the virus.