US set to lift Ireland travel ban this summer

US set to lift Ireland travel ban this summer

THE US is reportedly set to lift its travel ban on people from Ireland flying into the country. 

According to a report from the Irish Mirror, President Joe Biden is looking to lift the ban on all EU countries and the UK by as early as mid-May. 

It has been over a year since Irish citizens were last able to visit the US for non-essential reasons like holidays. Previous US President Donald Trump introduced the restrictions back on March 17th, 2020 in an attempt to limit the spread of Covid-19. 

The UK is subject to the same constraints, which were put in place just days after President Trump issued an executive order restricting travel from 26 European countries.  

The Biden administration is also reportedly planning to reopen travel across land borders to Canada and Mexico by the middle of May.  

It’s not yet clear whether Irish visitors will be required to have been vaccinated or what quarantine and testing measures will be in place.  

However, Deirdre O’Brien, the founder of US business immigration law firm O’Brien & Associates, has confirmed that there is talk of the ban “hopefully” being lifted by May.  

“Nothing has been confirmed but several unconfirmed sources in Washington are saying mid-May for the travel ban to be lifted," she said. 

"Again that's going to depend on a lot of things, on the rollout of the vaccine in Europe. 

"The US is in a bad state itself but they're not going to be inviting people to come from Europe if we’re not all largely vaccinated." 

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 25: U.S. President Joe Biden talks to reporters during the first news conference of his presidency in the East Room of the White House on March 25, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Any lifting of the ban may only be the first step though with Irish citizens still subject to travel restrictions at home. 

Non-essential international travel is advised against with anyone found going to ports and airports for unessential reasons facing fines of €500. 

No date has yet been set for the lifting of these restrictions, which are set to remain in place until April 5th at the earliest. 

A mandatory quarantine system has also been introduced requiring arrivals from certain countries to spend two weeks in a hotel room upon arrival.