Discussions on extending mandatory hotel quarantine list planned for this week 1 week ago

Discussions on extending mandatory hotel quarantine list planned for this week

The issue has proven to be divisive.

Discussions will take place later this week between officials and ministers over a proposal to extend the number of countries on the mandatory hotel quarantine list, according to media reports.

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Last week, public health officials recommended adding the US, France, Germany and Italy to the list.

While the Department of Health is reported to have been in favour of such a move, over fears regarding new variants of Covid-19, the plans were deferred after several Government ministers raised concerns.

One issue raised was whether Ireland had enough hotels to accommodate passengers flying in from more countries,

There were also concerns regarding the legality of removing European citizens right to travel within the EU, and the high numbers of Irish people living abroad who might not have the money or time to be able to return home under the conditions of the mandatory hotel quarantine.

As part of mandatory hotel quarantine, passengers arriving into Ireland from high-risk countries are now required to pre-book accommodation in a designated quarantine facility, and to pre-pay for a 12-night stay.

The length of a person's stay can be reduced if they are found to be Covid-19 free on day ten of their quarantining.

According to media reports, officials and ministers will meet on Wednesday and Thursday of this week in order to find a compromise on the issues.

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It is believed officials will explore the notion of enhanced checks on people home quarantining from these countries, as opposed to mandatory hotel quarantine.

Using vaccinations to shorten the period of isolation required after travel from certain countries may also be considered.