Ireland removes three countries from its mandatory hotel quarantine list
More countries are set to be added to the list in the coming days.
Albania, Israel and St. Lucia have all been removed from Ireland's mandatory hotel quarantine list.
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said the trio will no longer be designated states under the system of mandatory hotel quarantine and people who have arrived from those countries in recent days can leave their hotels and quarantine at home.
Donnelly said that due to the "substantially improved" epidemiological situation in the three countries, arrangements had been made on an exceptional basis for the small number of people who had arrived into the country from the three states - who had not been in any other designated state in the 14 days before they arrived - to leave mandatory hotel quarantining as soon as they wish.
The travellers must now quarantine at home unless they have a negative PCR test on day five or later after arrival into Ireland.
“Ireland’s system of mandatory hotel quarantine is a key element in the protection of public health, especially during the present critical period for our Covid-19 vaccination programme," Donnelly said.
"In the coming days I intend to designate a number of additional states so as to ensure that Ireland is protected as far as possible from importation of Variants of Concern, which pose a significant risk to our fight against this disease.”
In a statement, Donnelly said the additional countries and territories he intends to add to the list are: Bangladesh, Belgium, France, Italy, Kenya, Luxembourg, Pakistan, Turkey, the USA, Canada, Armenia, Bermuda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Curaçao, Maldives and Ukraine.