Pre-departure test requirement for all international travel

Date published: 05 December 2021

Changes to international travel have been announced to help slow the ingress of the omicron variant. 

As of 4am on Tuesday 7 December, anyone arriving into Northern Ireland from abroad will be required to take a pre-departure Covid test. This applies to all travellers aged 12 years old and over, including those who are fully vaccinated. It is a temporary measure and will be reviewed prior to 20 December.

International travellers will have to provide a negative pre-departure PCR or LFD test taken in the 2 days before you travel, in addition to a negative PCR test on or before day two after arrival.

Nigeria has also been added to the red list for international travel from 4am on Monday 6 December, meaning all travellers returning to Northern Ireland from Nigeria will be required to enter hotel quarantine upon arrival and isolate for 10 days. Travellers that have arrived from Nigeria in the last 10 days are required to self-isolate, along with other members of the household, and take a PCR test on day 2 and day 8. These will be provided by NHS Test and Trace.

Countries currently on the red list are: Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namiba, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

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

Notes to editors: 

1.For media enquiries please contact DoH Press Office by email:

2. Follow us on twitter @healthdpt

3, 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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