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High Court rules that South African woman is being detained lawfully within hotel quarantine

Charlene Heyns has been staying in mandatory hotel quarantine since she returned to Ireland on 9 April.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

THE HIGH COURT has ruled that a South African woman in mandatory hotel quarantine is being detained lawfully.

Mr Justice Brian O’Moore said that the arguments against mandatory hotel quarantine put forward by Charlene Heyns, a healthcare worker working in Ireland and returning from South Africa, were not in breach of the Constitution.

Heyns has been staying in mandatory hotel quarantine since she returned from South Africa on 9 April after travelling to receive urgent medical treatment.

She is scheduled to receive a Covid-19 test on 19 April, two days from now, and will be released if she tests negative.

Heyns challenged the system of mandatory hotel quarantine on a number of grounds, including saying that her detention within the facility was not based on the most up to date advice from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

The current advice being used by the Department of Health on testing within mandatory hotel quarantine says that on day 10, a negative test should allow the person to leave the facility.

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Heyns solicitors argue that this advice has since changed, and the ECDC is now recommending that a negative test between day five and seven would be sufficient to leave.

Heyns has also received a single dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine and has tested negative twice in previous days.

Her solicitors said that the system failed to take into account the vaccination status and previous infection status of people being made to stay within the mandatory hotel quarantine system.

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