Coming from overseas? A guide for UCC Students

Coming from overseas? What you need to know before travelling to Ireland

All passengers coming into Ireland must complete a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form and provide evidence that you have a negative or ‘not detected’ result from a COVID-19 Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test carried out no more than 72 hours before you arrive into Ireland, or have evidence that you are exempt from this legal requirement.

If a student is travelling from a ‘designated state’ the student must enter mandatory hotel quarantine upon arrival into Ireland. If a student is travelling from a ‘non-designated state’ the student must have a negative PCR test 72 hours before arrival and may carry out their quarantine at their residence/rented accommodation for 14 days. This 14-day quarantine can be reduced by having a further negative PCR test from Day 5 after arriving in Ireland.


International travel from 19 July


Passengers arriving into Ireland from EU/EEA

From 19 July, subject to the prevailing public health situation, Ireland will operate the EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) for travel originating within the EU/EEA.

A DCC will show if a passenger:

  • is vaccinated against COVID-19;
  • has recovered from COVID-19; or
  • has a negative test result

Passengers arriving into Ireland with a DCC will not have to undergo quarantine.

However, passengers with a DCC based on a non-PCR test (for example, antigen), or those arriving without a DCC, will require proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival. 

Passengers arriving into Ireland from outside EU/EEA

 From 19 July, Ireland will also broadly align itself to the EU approach to non-essential travel into the EU from third countries.

To protect its citizens against importation of variants, an ‘emergency brake’ mechanism will be coordinated at EU level to react swiftly to the emergence of a variant of concern or variant of interest.

Government advice will be to avoid travel to a country where the emergency brake has been applied.

For more details, please visit :


What does ‘Mandatory quarantine’ mean?

Mandatory quarantine requirements apply to all persons who have been overseas in the 14-days prior to entering Ireland. Arrivals from designated states are subject to mandatory hotel quarantine.

For all others arriving in Ireland from non-designated states:

  • a 14-day quarantine period must be undertaken at the address specified on the Passenger Locator Form
  • passengers who travel from another country to Ireland, and arrive via Northern Ireland, must also observe the mandatory quarantine regime
  • 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
  • you can end your period of quarantine if you receive written confirmation of a negative or ‘not detected’ RT-PCR test result taken no less than 5 days after arrival. You must retain the written confirmation of your test result for at least 14 days

If you do not fulfil the legal requirement for mandatory quarantine you are committing an offence.

What is Mandatory Hotel quarantine? List

Travel to Ireland from specific designated states is now subject to mandatory hotel quarantine. This must be pre-booked in advance of travel.

These arrangements apply to any passenger who has been in any of these countries in the previous 14 days, even if only transiting through one of these countries and even if remaining airside.

It is important to note that the list of designated states will be subject to change at short notice and passengers are required to check the list before travelling to Ireland, to be sure of their obligations.

List of designated states


Who needs to complete Mandatory Hotel quarantine?

You must complete mandatory hotel quarantine if you come from a designated state.

This includes:

  • if you have been in a designated state at any time in the 14 days before you arrive in Ireland
  • if you have travelled through an airport or port in a designated state

Passengers will be required to complete a period of mandatory hotel quarantine at a designated facility. This may be reduced if a passenger receives a 'not detected' result following a COVID-19 PCR test that is taken on the tenth day in quarantine. It may also be extended if a passenger tests positive during their stay.

Arriving overland from Northern Ireland into Ireland:

Anyone arriving overland into Ireland from Northern Ireland who has been in or through a designated state in the previous 14 days is responsible for making their own way to their pre-booked designated quarantine hotel within 4 hours. Please note that the UK also has mandatory hotel quarantine requirements which the traveller may have been required to fulfil before arriving into Ireland or Northern Ireland.


For how long must I observe the mandatory quarantine regime?

Based on current national guidelines, students must arrive in Ireland at least 14 days before they are due to start their academic studies.

See programme start dates here.


The 14-day mandatory quarantine period should be completed prior to starting your course.

How do I get food, groceries and other supplies while I am in mandatory quarantine?

We advise that you organise a food delivery in advance of your arrival in Cork. Large supermarket groups such as Tesco (, Supervalu (, Aldi ( and Centra ( will all deliver to your accommodation. We suggest that you book your delivery slot weeks in advance and have the food delivered the morning after you arrive (just in case you are delayed). Fresh organic fruit & vegetables can be delivered weekly (every Wednesday in UCC area) to your door by Organic Republic.

Catering providers can deliver prepared meals to you at an added cost. Ask your accommodation provider or landlord about options for the delivery of prepared meals to your location. 

Deliveroo and Just will deliver to you from a wide choice of participating restaurants.

You may find even more information here.

What happens after I complete my 14-day Mandatory quarantine?

After 14 days, your and your housemates may be considered a household unit. Therefore, you may wish to relax the need for social distancing. However, we do recommend that a strict regime of sanitising shared spaces be maintained.

What happens if I become ill while in mandatory quarantine?

The health, safety and wellbeing of all our students is critically important to us.

In order to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, there are some steps that UCC students arriving into Ireland from overseas must comply with.

See here for further information on your health obligations with respect to your arrival into Ireland and safe commencement or continuation of your studies at UCC.

If you become ill or need medical advice during your period of restricted movements on arrival in Ireland, please be assured that our Student Health Department is on hand to assist you.

Please contact +353 (0)21 490 2311 if needed. One of our Doctors will return your call and can arrange for you to obtain treatment, undergo investigation (including COVID-19 testing) if required, onward referral to a specialist service or attendance at Accident and Emergency if necessary.

At evenings and weekends and if the Department is closed a recorded voice message on +353 (0)21 490 2311 will advise you of the telephone number to call for assistance.

What happens if my housemate becomes ill while observing the mandatory quarantine regime?

You must stay in mandatory quarantinere for a further 14 days, even if you feel well.

What happens if I am concerned about my mental health?

If you are worried about your mental health, please make contact with a member of our support team. You will find the information here.

If you are hoping to make contact with a support service out of normal business hours, the following information is important:

Crisis Text Line: Text UCC to 50808 to chat anonymously with a trained volunteer. Any issue. Any time.

Samaritans: Emotional support: 24 hours, Freephone 116123 ( 

Pieta House: Support for people at risk of self-harm: 24 hours, Freephone 1800 247 247

UCC General Services Security: 24 Hours, Tel: 4903111

Anglesea Street Gardaí HQ: 24 hours, Tel: 4313031

A+E Cork University Hospital: 24 hours, Tel: 4920230

South Doc (Evenings and week ends) Tel: 1850 335 999

Freephone: 1800 32 32 42
Niteline is a confidential listening service offered by students for students. Available throughout the academic year on Tues, Weds & Thurs from 9.00pm to 1.00am

Links to various external support agencies

What other supports are available while I am in Mandatory quarantine?

You should check out UCC’s Keep Well website for information about looking after your mental and physical health and wellbeing.

There are great community groups in Cork, such as the Mexican & Indian Communities, who students could engage with through our current international student societies. Check out the UCC Societies website here for more information.

How can I protect myself and others after I have completed the mandatory quarantine for 14 days?

Please make sure to update your symptom tracker daily. More information can be found here.

It is also important to download the Covid-19 Tracker app by clicking here.

To protect yourself and others from coronavirus (COVID-19), think about how the virus is spread.

Coronavirus is spread in sneeze or cough droplets. To infect you, it has to get from an infected person's nose or mouth into your eyes, nose or mouth. This can be direct or indirect (on hands, objects, surfaces).

Social distancing

Social distancing is important to help slow the spread of coronavirus. It does this by minimising contact between potentially infected individuals and healthy individuals.

You should:

  • keep a space of 2 metres (6.5 feet) between you and other people
  • avoid communal sleeping areas
  • avoid any crowded places
  • not shake hands or make close contact with other people, if possible

There is very little risk if you are just passing someone. But try to keep a distance of 2 metres as much as possible.

If you are in a public place where it is difficult to keep 2 metres away from others, you should wear a face covering.

Read more about close contacts and casual contacts.

Where can I find additional information?

You will find up-to-date information about UCC and Covid-19 here.


Please see some further helpful information related to Covid-19, which has been provided by the Irish Council for International Students at:

Do I need to advise UCC if I develop COVID-19 Symptoms?

In order to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, there are some steps that UCC students arriving into Ireland from overseas must comply with.

See here for further information on your health obligations with respect to your arrival into Ireland and safe commencement or continuation of your studies at UCC.


Be responsible, be safe

Proper hand washing, respiratory hygiene and social distancing are more important than ever.

We are still at risk of a large surge of infection. Everyone should use their judgement and follow the advice below to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

Try and limit the number of people you meet with outside of your home and the time you spend with them.

You should:

  • wear a face covering on public transport, in shops and other indoor settings - this is the law, you may be fined or refused entry if you don't wear one
  • work from home if possible - if you cannot work from home, keep 2 metres apart from other people
  • avoid crowded places as much as possible - leave a location if social distancing becomes difficult
  • avoid public transport if possible - walk or cycle instead, if you can
  • avoid places where you can't keep 2 metres apart from other people, where possible
  • wear a face covering when visiting people aged 70 or over, or other vulnerable people - be sure to practice social distancing for their safety
  • avoid sharing vehicles with people you don't live with - wear a face covering if you do

You can:

  • meet a limited number of people indoors or outdoors for social gatherings, but keep at least 2 metres apart - read more information about having visitors and social gatherings
  • attend medical appointments, collect medicine or other health products
  • exercise outdoors or indoors in gyms and sports clubs while following public health advice
  • visit outdoor spaces, playgrounds and tourism sites, where you can keep at least 2 metres apart from other people

Can I share the house/apartment facilities with my housemates?

Yes. In the first instance, you should ask your landlord/apartment manager if they can supply you with guidelines for safely sharing the facilities (including cooking).

If no guidelines are available, we suggest that you create equitable rotas/schedules for all housemates who are sharing the facilities. A strict cleaning procedure should be adhered to before you enter, and leave, the shared space.

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