Explainer: Travel to and from Dublin – you can go (for now) but are asked not to

Rising coronavirus infections in Dublin have resulted in additional restrictions including travel outside the county being discouraged by the Government.

This leaves the State’s most populous county, with about 1.4 million people or one third of the population, between the new Level 2 and Level 3 Covid-19 alert levels.

Can I travel outside Dublin?

You can but you are being asked not to. The official stated advice from the Departments of the Taoiseach and Health on the Government website to those living in Dublin is that they should be “encouraged to limit travel outside the region and only meet one other household when outside the county”.

So I can travel if I want?

Yes. Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said on Tuesday that Dublin residents “absolutely can” travel outside the county. Taoiseach Micheál Martin later clarified that the State’s National Public Health Emergency Team had advised people not to travel outside Dublin but that there was no regulation attached to it. “I am encouraging people not to travel, if at all possible,” he said.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar went further on Tuesday night, saying the Government was “strongly discouraging people from travelling outside of Dublin city or county unless it’s necessary.” He cited reasons of work or to care for somebody but not a weekend away.

But what about Dubliners who have events to go to in another county? They are, unfortunately, being asked to reschedule. On Wednesday, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said people living in Dublin who were considering going on holidays or a weekend away elsewhere in the State should reschedule and that people from Dublin going to weddings outside the county should reconsider their plans. He also said people should avoid travelling to Dublin where possible.