Search icon


10th Feb 2021

British ex-pats booking short stays in Ireland to get around Covid travel bans

Expats are reportedly “killing time” in Dublin.

British ex-pat travellers returning to countries such as Singapore are booking short stays in Ireland to get around travel bans.

According to a report in The Irish Times, people returning to countries where travel directly from the UK is restricted, are booking apartments in Dublin for two or three week stays, then heading on to their destination.

Multiple countries currently have restrictions on passengers arriving from the UK. Travel to Singapore is currently prohibited for those who have been in the UK in the 14 days prior to arrival, and anyone who has spent two hours or more in the UK in the last 21 days cannot enter Hong Kong.

Non-Indonesians are currently unable to enter that country, and Malaysia’s borders are currently closed to British nationals (though some exemptions apply for both those countries).

Under the Common Travel Area, British and Irish citizens can move freely between the two countries – meaning that travellers can circumvent travel restrictions from the UK with a short stay in Ireland.

A source told The Irish Times that people are “killing time” in Dublin, adding that due to Ireland’s current quarantine measures means that they “can get out and about, and have walks”.

“Ireland is an easy option for [British] ex-pat escapees: cheap flights, lax quarantine implementation and doable ex-pat routes to Asia like Doha that don’t require quarantine if transiting only,” the Singapore-based ex-pat told The Irish Times.

The report comes after UK health secretary Matt Hancock announced that travellers entering Britain from “red list” destinations who lie about where they are arriving from could face up to ten years in jail.

“We are coming down hard on people who provide false information on the passenger locator form,” Matt Hancock told MPs.

“Anyone who lies on the passenger locator form and tries to conceal that they have been in a country on the ‘red list’ in the ten days before arrival here, will face a prison sentence of up to ten years.”