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Your guide to our security ratings

What are security ratings?

Security ratings are a clear way for us to show you how safe or unsafe we believe a country may be to visit, and to help you to make informed decisions about overseas travel. In addition to security ratings, we also provide detailed information about visas, health, safety, local laws and customs and other information we think you might find useful.

Reading and understanding the advice we provide will help you to have a safe trip, but we also encourage you to learn as much about your intended destination as possible through other sources, such as travel guides and tour operators. Any decision to travel to, stay in or leave a country is your responsibility.

Any issues relating to refunds or terms and conditions of flights, holiday packages or insurance policies are a matter for citizens to take up with their airline, tour operator or insurer, and are not the responsibility of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Where do security ratings come from?

Security ratings are our estimation of the relative safety and security of a country at a specific point in time. We closely and continuously monitor international developments, primarily through our network of 80 Missions worldwide, and also through close consultation with our international and EU partner states.

There are four colour-coded levels to our security ratings:

1)    A Green Bar will be presented for “Normal Precautions”

A country with this rating has a similar security environment to that in Ireland, with an established rule of law and functioning public services. You should be vigilant against crime, but the risks are no more severe than that at home.

Extra measures you can take include:

2)    A Yellow Bar will be presented for “High Degree of Caution”

Countries in this category have additional risks such as serious crime and/or terrorism, specific targeting of foreigners, disease or extreme weather events. Ensure that you are well informed and are aware of the risks before departure, and closely follow the advice and instructions of local authorities.  You should be vigilant and take extra care planning your trip.

Many Irish people safely visit countries with this rating each year, but we issue such a warning to draw your attention to clear risks which we have identified.

Precautions Irish citizens travelling should take:

3)    An Orange Bar will be presented for “Avoid Non-Essential Travel”

We recommend that you don’t travel to this country as there is likely to be a clear and present danger to your health or safety due to a severe risk of crime, political upheaval, natural disaster, terrorism or armed conflict. This is our second most severe warning, and few Irish people would visit countries with this rating.

This security status may not be permanent and you should check for updates as you plan your travel. You should bear in mind that we may only be able to provide limited assistance in the event you encounter difficulty.

Precautions Irish citizens travelling should take:

4)    A Red Bar will be presented for “Do Not Travel”

This is our highest level of warning. Due to armed conflict, natural disaster, disease, civil unrest or other life-threatening reasons we advise that you cancel any plans to travel to this country.

Few if any Irish people visit these countries, and those who do can experience extreme difficulties.

If you are already in the country, we advise you to consider leaving by commercial carrier while it is still possible to do so. In a deteriorating situation, we cannot guarantee that we will be in a position to offer consular assistance should you decide to remain there.