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Government advised to add US, France, Germany and Italy to hotel quarantine list

There are understood to be concerns that the move may pose diplomatic issues.

Image: PA

THE UNITED STATES and a number of EU countries – including France, Germany and Italy – have been recommended for inclusion in Ireland’s mandatory hotel quarantine list in advice given to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly by NPHET.

More than 40 additional countries may be added to the list – more than doubling its size. 

Countries are recommended for inclusion if a variant of concern is circulating or if Covid rates in the community are very high. 

A final decision on the new countries’ inclusion has not yet been made but one is expected later in the week. 

“Any addition to the list of category 2 countries requires consultation with the Minister for Foreign Affairs by the Minister for Health,” a spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said this afternoon. 

“That has not happened to date.”

There are understood to be concerns within Government that the addition of the US and the additional European countries could pose diplomatic issues and may go against EU freedom of movement rights. 

Taoiseach Micheál Martin is understood to have cut the idea off at today’s Cabinet meeting, with sources stating that the Minister Coveney and some within his department were “furious” the recommendation had made it to the media before any consultation.

While the Taoiseach told the reporters today that there will be additions made to the list, he did not go so far as stating that it would include the likes of the US or EU countries.

The hotel quarantine system, which has been in the works for months, finally went live early last Friday morning. 

There are currently 33 countries on the government’s list of ‘high-risk’ Category 2 countries.

A total of 13 of these countries/territories were added by Donnelly on 26 February.

These are: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Panama, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.

The 20 other countries/states which were already on the list are:

Angola, Austria, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, Cape Verde, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Republic of South Africa, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Anyone arriving into the country without a negative PCR test is also subject to mandatory hotel quarantine.

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The cost for an incoming passenger coming from one of the designated states is €1,875 for 12 nights, with lower rates for children. 

The development comes as Cabinet meets this afternoon ahead of an expected announcement from the Taoiseach this evening on the continuing Covid measures. Follow our liveblog here for the latest

About the author:

Christina Finn & Daragh Brophy

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