Britain and Ireland travel rules could be tightened over Delta variant concern, says Simon Coveney 1 month ago

Britain and Ireland travel rules could be tightened over Delta variant concern, says Simon Coveney

"The numbers are concerning and we need to do what we can within reason to do what we can to protect people here."

The Government is considering tighter restrictions for people travelling from the UK to Ireland in the coming weeks, according to Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney.

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On RTÉ's This Week, Coveney said that the Government are currently concerned about the Delta "variant of concern" and its presence in the UK.

"The numbers are concerning and we need to do what we can within reason to do what we can to protect people here," he said.

"I don't want to announce anything today but we are looking at this seriously. Potentially longer quarantine periods particularly for people who aren't vaccinated.

"We want to get the balance right to protect the Common Travel Area as best we can."

Coveney spoke about the concerns with Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly on Saturday. Meanwhile, Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan spoke to the UK Transport Minister also on Saturday.

Both Ryan and Donnelly have been in touch with Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan about the concerns.

Currently, people arriving here from Britain are exempt from Ireland's mandatory hotel quarantine system but do have to quarantine at home.

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However, they are permitted to exit that after five days if they get a second negative PCR test.

Meanwhile, in England, cabinet ministers are meeting this evening to decide whether or not to lift all coronavirus restrictions by 21 June as was the initial plan set out by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Johnson is set to hold a press conference this evening at the same time as the UK's Euro 2020 football game.

It is reported that because of concerns about the highly transmissible Delta variant which was first discovered in India and has become prominent in the UK, a delay of up to four weeks is being considered.

An announcement is expected to be made on Monday in regards to the UK Government's decision on the matter.

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