Covid-19 Embassy FAQs
News06 April 2021
On this page, you will find answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about services at the Embassy such as passport and visas, and information on travel to Ireland and France and the present time.
1. Restrictions in France
2. Visiting the Embassy
5. Travel to France
6. Travel to Ireland
1. Restrictions in France
Q. What restrictions are currently in place in France and how long will they last?
There are a range of restrictions in place throughout the country and you are advised to follow the guidance of national and local authorities. From 20th March, a lockdown is in place across 16 departments, including Paris and Nice. This lockdown will be extended to the whole of France on 3 April. Under this lockdown, it is permitted to go out for exercise within 10km of your home, with no time limit on outings. All those in the affected territories who go beyond 10km of their home, or are going to work should complete and carry the relevant declaration. When going out but staying within 10km, proof of address such as a utility bill or rent receipt should be carried. If you do not have proof of address, you should complete an attestation dérogatoire outlining your reason for being out. Remote working is strongly encouraged. All non-essential retail is closed under the lockdown. French schools will close for three weeks during April, with a progressive return to the classroom starting on 26 April for nurseries and primary schools.
Inter-regional travel is not permitted except for professional or imperative family reasons. As such, people should not leave their département unless they can complete and carry an attestation confirming their reason for doing so and documentary proof of this reason. If they live on the border of departments, a tolerance of 30 km beyond the department is accepted. If you are travelling anywhere beyond 10km from home, you should complete the attestation dérogatoire in the same way.
A national curfew is also in place between 7pm-6am. During curfew hours, you should not leave your home, except if required to do so for professional or emergency reasons. You will need to complete and carry a declaration, or 'attestation derogatoire'. All declarations (including in English) and full information is available on the Ministry of the Interior website. Failure to comply with the curfew will result in a fine of €135 and of €1500 for a repeat offence.
Restaurants, bars, cinemas, theatres, museums and gyms remain closed nationwide. Delivery and takeaway service will continue, but with limited opening hours. Masks are required in all public spaces and gatherings are not permitted in public places. You are advised to check your local prefecture's website for specific information. Full information on restrictions is available in English, on the Government website.
Information on Foreign Travel is available on our Travel Advice page and in the 'Travel to France' section below.
2. Visiting the Embassy
Q: Can I come to the Embassy during opening hours?
A: In line with the French government's confinement restrictions, the Embassy team are currently operating under hybrid working. Consular Services are still fully available for Irish citizens and the Embassy's public offices are accessible by appointment only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 9.30am-12pm. Appointments must be made in advance and can be made by phone (+33 1 44 17 67 00) or email (email@example.com). We ask that all applications and relevant documentation be submitted to us by post or email.
All visitors to the Embassy must have made an appointment, comply with local health restrictions by carrying the relevant declaration and be carrying Photo ID to gain entry to the building. If you have had any Covid-19 symptoms or have come into contact with a positive case of Covid-19 in the last 14 days or have arrived in France from abroad and are within your required self-isolation period, please do not attend the Embassy. We will be happy to reschedule an appointment for a later date.
Q: What health and safety measures do you have in place at the Embassy?
A: We are applying the advice of the French and Irish governments to ensure a safe environment for our staff and visitors. We are exercising social distancing and all visitors to the Embassy are required to wear their own mask to enter the building. Hand sanitiser is available on-site.
Q: How can I apply for my passport?
A:All passport applications by those resident in France, whether they are first-time passports or renewals for both children and adults should be made through the Passport Online service.
If you are residing in Monaco or French overseas territories, you must renew your passport online, but first-time applications are made through the Embassy using a paper form. These are the only applications that will be accepted via paper application going forward, all other applications should be made online. Please check with us that before sending a paper application to confirm elligibilty, or else your application and documentation may be returned.
If you are in France or Monaco and your passport has been lost or stolen and you need to return to Ireland, you may qualify for a one-way Emergency Travel Document to return to Ireland. Please contact Embassy or closest Honorary Consul if you require this service.
Please note that the passport applications is suspended in line with Ireland's move to Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions. You can continue to submit your application online during this time at https://www.dfa.ie/passports/. If you have yet to submit your supporting documentation, you are requested to wait until Ireland moves to Level 4 restrictions.
If you need a passport for an urgent reason, please email firstname.lastname@example.org outlining your urgent reason, name, date of birth and application number.
Q: What is the status of my passport application, and when will my passport be ready?
A: If you have applied for your passport online, you will have been given a tracking number to check the status of your application. If you have any queries regarding your online passport application, please contact the Passport Service's Customer Support Hub webchat and have your tracking number ready. Please note, the Embassy cannot provide status updates or information regarding applications made online.
Q: My passport has been issued, when will I receive it?
A: If your application was submitted to the Embassy via paper application, we will contact you by telephone or email to let you know when your passport and original documents are being sent by registered post to your address.
If your application was made online, you will be able to track your passport with the postal service, using the tracking number you were given when you applied. If you have been informed that your passport has been dispatched for post more than 4 weeks ago and you still have not received it, please contact the Embassy.
Q: What is the status of my application for Foreign Birth Registration?
A: The processing of Foreign Birth Registrations is currently suspended, following Ireland's move to Level 5 on the National Framework for Living with COVID-19.
Applications that have been sent to the FBR Office in Ireland have been securely held and will be processed in strict date order upon resumption of services. At present, due to the complex nature of the Foreign Birth Registration it takes between 12 to 18 months to process a completed Foreign Birth Registration application and this processing time has been increased due to the Covid-19 related suspensions in processing.
All FBR applications are being processed directly by Dublin. As such, any queries regarding the status or processing of a Foreign Birth Registration should be directed to the FBR web chat. You will be contacted directly by the FBR Office in Dublin when your certificate is ready. Please note that the Embassy cannot provide further updates at this time.
Q: Are you accepting new visa applications?
A: Not currently. As part of the combined efforts to tackle COVID-19 and to ensure customer safety, the Department of Justice has taken the decision to temporarily cease accepting new visa/ preclearance applications. This is effective from close of business 29th January 2021. Increasing travel restrictions and the measures introduced as part of the Irish Government’s efforts to interrupt the transmission of COVID-19 means that travel may not be possible and even if possible is not advisable unless absolutely essential. It is currently against the law for any person (regardless of nationality or passport) to travel within Ireland for non-essential purposes and people can be fined for doing so. Please note, new measures suspending visa-free travel for nationals of South Africa and several South American countries came into effect on 27th January 2021. Nationals from these countries travelling to Ireland from France or transiting through France will not be admitted boarding if they are not in possession of a valid Irish visa or Irish Residence Permit.
While it will still be possible to apply for an Irish visa/preclearance online in the normal manner, these temporary measures mean that unless the application relates to an emergency/priority case, the application will not be processed until further notice. This also applies to all non-emergency/priority applications submitted before 29th January. Please note that any application made online will remain valid until such time as restrictions are lifted, but please contact us if you would like your application and documents returned. We intend to resume accepting applications as soon as this suspension is lifted.
Certain priority/emergency cases will continue to be processed. For further information on relevant categories, please see the website of Immigration Service Delivery. For priority/emergency visa applications, please contact the Embassy directly via email@example.com so that we can guide you through the application process and advise you how to submit your documentation.
These measures are in place until at least 5th May 2021.
Q: Has my visa been approved? When will I receive it and will I be able to travel?
A: In order to ensure that all visa applications receive fair and equal treatment, applications are dealth with in the order they are received. For reasons outlined above, only applications related to an emergency/priority case will be processed at this time. If your application falls under one of these categories, you will be contacted as soon as it has been issued. You should not book travel to Ireland until after you have received your visa from the Embassy.
Q: What if my travel date has passed, can you please give me the approval automatically for a later date?
A: If your travel dates have passed, you may be required to submit new documentation to support your visa application once normal service resumes. You may wish to withdraw your application and reapply at a later date. If you would like your application and file to be returned, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Travel to France
Q: Can I travel to France? What documents do I need to fill in and what are the formalities?
Due to the very active circulation of Covid-19 and particularly of new variants, the French Government are strictly and completely advising against all non-essential travel to and from France until further notice. A negative RT-PCR test taken less than 72 hours prior to departure will be required for all travellers arriving in France. Checks will be carried out upon boarding and arrival and passengers without a negative RT-PCR test will not be perrmitted to board their flight or ferry.
All those travelling to France must complete and carry the correct Sworn Statement for International Travel, based on their country of departure. These are available in French and English on the Ministry of the Interior website. Please note there are different documents for travellers aged 11+ and those under the age of 11. Please refer to the website of the French Embassy in Dublin and of the French Foreign Ministry, for full information in French and in English. Please note that measures previously applied to hauliers travelling from Ireland to France by direct maritime routes have been lifted as of 5th March 2021.
It is strongly recommended by the French government that all those travelling to France from Ireland, self-isolate for 7 days upon arrival and take a second RT-PCR test at the end of this period. These requirements do not apply to hauliers travelling from EU countries, including Ireland. Those transiting through France who remain airside are not obliged to fulfil the RT-PCR test requirement as long as it is not required for their final destination.
From 31st January, travel to France from countries outside the European space (or those who have travelled outside the European space within the last 14 days) is only allowed in approved exception criteria, with pressing grounds for travel. The requirement for pressing grounds does not apply if you are travelling from: Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, United Kingdom. Your trip must however meet one of the exception criteria as listed on the exempted travel certificate and you will be subject to the health control measures including pre-departure RT-PCR test, sworn statement and completion of 7 days mandatory self-isolation upon arrival, with release from self-isolation upon a negative RT-PCR test after 7 days.
Please refer to the French Foreign Ministry's website and the Ministry of the Interior website for detailed information on these restrictions and documentation required for travel. Measures are in place for those travelling from a country where a RT-PCR test cannot be provided and you should contact the French Embassy or Consulate closest to you for further information.
RT-PCR testing is widely available for free throughout France. Information on testing centres is available on the French Health Ministry’s website.
Upon arrival, you are encouraged to download the TousAntiCovid app. If arriving in or transiting through France during curfew hours, you are required to complete and carry the correct attestation. Inter-regional travel in France is permitted as of 15th December 2020.
Travel to Overseas Territories:
Travel to the overseas territories is only permitted for imperative reasons. You are advised to check the website of the relevant territory’s local government for up to date information. For all those over the age of 11, any travel to an overseas territory, regardless of location of origin, requires proof of a negative RT-PCR test carried out within 72 hours before boarding. You must also provide an declaration for travel to or from an overseas territory available on the site of the Ministry of the Interior.
If you are arriving into metropolitan France from one of these territories, you are encouraged to take a RT-PCR test or to respect a seven-day isolation period.
6. Travel to Ireland
Q: Do I need to get a RT-PCR test before travelling to Ireland?
A: Given the high circulation of Covid-19, the Irish government are advising against all non-essential travel. The Government has introduced stricter measures, including more control and enforcement and higher penalties, as non-essential international travel is in breach of Ireland’s level 5 rules. Persons travelling to and from airports may be asked to provide proof of essential travel.
There is a mandatory requirement for all passengers age 6+ travelling into Ireland from abroad (including those travelling from France) to show proof of a negative/not-detected pre-departure RT-PCR test taken less than 72 hours prior to arrival in the State. Passengers without a negative RT-PCR test will not be permitted to board. Some exceptions apply to those travelling for an essential function including HGV drivers, aviation and maritime crews and also to transiting passengers. The official negative RT-PCR test result can be in any written or other electric form and can be in the local language. Information on where to get a PCR test in France is available via: https://sante.fr/recherche/trouver/DepistageCovid
There is a temporary suspension of visa-free travel for South Africa and South American travellers and the Department of Justice has suspended the acceptance of all new visas/preclearance applications globally, except for those in emergency/priority categories. Full information is available on gov.ie
Q. Do I need to quarantine upon arrival to Ireland?
Yes. All travellers to Ireland are required by law to complete a Passenger Locator Form and a legal requirement to quarantine has been introduced for all travellers (except if your journey originates in Northern Ireland) – with very limited exceptions.
If you do not fulfil the legal requirement for mandatory quarantine you are committing an offence, and can be fined up to €2,500 or get a prison sentence of up to 6 months, or both. You may only leave your place of residence during the quarantine period for unavoidable reasons of an emergency nature to protect a person’s health or welfare, or to leave the State.
This quarantine requirement may be lifted only upon receipt of a negative/not detected result of a second PCR test taken in Ireland at least 5 days after arrival. Testing related to travel is not provided through the Irish public health system and the cost is at the traveller's expense. Private companies are operating testing centres for this purpose across the country and you are recommended to book this test in advance. You must quarantine until you receive the negative test result.
Mandatory Hotel Quarantine:
From 4am Friday 26th March, all those travelling from Category 2 locations, or who have transited such locations (even if remained airside) in the last 14 days must have pre-booked and pre-paid for a stay in mandatory hotel quarantine and must complete the 14 day mandatory hotel quarantine period upon arrival. If you arrive in Ireland without a negative RT-PCR test result taken less than 72h prior to arrival, you will also be obliged to enter mandatory hotel quarantine. French Guaiana is currently included in the list of category 2 locations. Very limited exemptions apply to this requirement, as outlined on Gov.ie Full information on hotel mandatory quarantine and the list of Category 2 countries and territories is outlined at www.gov.ie/quarantine
If you require assistance on your return to Ireland, organisations such as CrossCare Migrant Project can provide you with advice. Comprehensive information on supports available if you are returning to Ireland during the Covid-19 crisis are also available on citizensinformation.ie.
Q: I have to travel to Ireland for urgent business reasons, do I have to quarantine?
A: If you can demonstrate proof that you fall under one of the very limited categories of those travelling for an essential function or need, such a hauliers, flight crew or essential healthcare workers, you may not need to quarantine. It is up to each individual traveller to determine if they fit the criteria for exemtpion. You must adhere to all Level 5 restrictions and carry proof of this essential purpose when travelling and during your 14 days after arrival in the State.
Q: What restrictions are in place in Ireland?
A: On 15 September, the Irish government published Resilience and Recovery 2020 – 2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19. This plan replaces the previous Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business. The Plan is a framework for managing COVID-19 over the next 6 months.
The plan sets out 5 levels that correspond to the severity of COVID-19 in a location. It is possible for different levels to be in place in different locations in the country. You can find out more about how the level in each location is decided. We strongly advise that you carefully consult the gov.ie website for the most up-to-date information on the measures currently in place in Ireland. Anyone arriving in Ireland is asked to follow public health advice.
Ireland is currently at Level 5. Please see the Government's website for information on the current restrictions.
If you are travelling onwards from Ireland into Northern Ireland, check this guidance on requirements in place for travel to Northern Ireland.
Conseils aux voyagers se rendant en Irlande:
Toutes les personnes âgées de 6 ans et plus, arrivant en Irlande depuis l'étranger (y compris depuis la France) devront présenter un test PCR négatif effectué dans les 72 heures avant leur arrivée en Irlande. Certaines exceptions s'appliquent aux travailleurs de première ligne, y compris les conducteurs de poids lourds, les équipages aéronautiques et maritimes ainsi que les voyageurs en transit. La liste des centres de dépistage proposant un test PCR est disponible sur: https://sante.fr/recherche/trouver/DepistageCovid
Les voyageurs arrivant en Irlande doivent se soumettre à une quarantaine de 14 jours à leur arrivée en Irlande. Pour les voyageurs arrivant de France (à l'exception de ceux qui arrivent ou transitent de la Guyane française), la quarantaine peut être levée en cas de test RT-PCR négatif réalisé au moins 5 jours après l’arrivée en Irlande. Des informations complètes sont disponibles ici.