All remaining countries have been removed from Ireland's mandatory hotel quarantine list
The removal is effective immediately.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has announced the removal of all remaining states from the government's Mandatory Hotel Quarantine (MHQ) list with effect from today (Saturday, 25 September).
In a statement, the Department of Health said the decision is based on the latest advice received from Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan.
The move comes as the MHQ system has been scaled down progressively over recent months in line with the government’s revised international travel approach, Ireland’s vaccine roll-out success and the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic internationally.
Mandatory Hotel Quarantine commenced operation earlier this year on 26 March in order to protect the population from the importation of concerning Covid-19 variants.
Since that time, over 10,294 people have completed Mandatory Hotel Quarantine.
“The Mandatory Hotel Quarantine system was introduced as an exceptional public health measure at a time that our country was contending with the very serious risk of importation of variants of concern that had the potential to overwhelm our health service and, in particular, to undermine Ireland’s Covid-19 vaccination programme," Donnelly said in a statement.
“The logistics involved with the implementation of this system were many and complex... I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all of those who worked diligently to ensure the system operated smoothly and provided an appropriate level of care to those completing their period of quarantine."
At the peak of the system's operation, 60 states were on the MHQ list. The greatest number of persons in MHQ at one time reached 1,008 on 9 May.
"The successful operation of Mandatory Hotel Quarantine has played a central role in protecting the population, maintaining control of the disease and enabling the safe relaxation of restrictions on our economy and society," Donnelly added.
"I would like to thank the over 10,000 people who completed their period of quarantine in a designated facility and the many thousands more who completed home quarantine in order to protect themselves and their loved ones from the risk of severe illness and death from Covid-19.”
In spite of the scaling down of the MHQ system, travellers must still follow certain travel regulations.
These include the need to:
- have a pre-travel PCR test unless you have possession of proof of vaccination or recovery
- complete a home-based quarantine
- fill out a Passenger Locator Form prior to your arrival to Ireland
Main image via Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie