International travel rules update

Date published: 06 January 2022

The Department of Health has confirmed that a number of travel rules previously introduced to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant will be removed.

Graphic for news update

From 4am on Friday 7 January, fully vaccinated passengers and under 18s will no longer need to take a pre-departure test or self-isolate on arrival. However, fully vaccinated passengers are still required to complete a passenger locator form and take a test on or before day 2 of their arrival. From Sunday 9 January, this can be either a lateral flow (LFD) or PCR test. NHS Test and Trace tests cannot be used for international travel, LFDs for this purpose must be purchased from a private provider.

Anyone with a positive lateral flow test will be required to book a free confirmatory PCR test and isolate. If the subsequent mandatory confirmatory PCR is negative, then the isolation period can end.

Individuals who are not deemed as fully vaccinated are required to complete a passenger locator form, take a pre-departure test, have booked a PCR day 2 and day 8 test package and complete 10 days self-isolation.

The latest advice and rules on travel are available on NI Direct.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Day 2 LFDs will be available to purchase from 4am on Friday 7 January for use from 4am on Sunday 9 January.
  2. For media enquiries please contact DoH Press Office by email:
  3. Follow us on twitter @healthdpt
  4. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service For Media Enquiries Only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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