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Government considering tighter restrictions on people travelling from Britain to Ireland

Simon Coveney said it could include longer quarantine periods for unvaccinated people travelling from Britain to Ireland.

Updated Jun 13th 2021, 1:23 PM

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN Affairs Simon Coveney says the Government is considering tighter restrictions on passengers arriving into Ireland from the UK. 

Coveney’s comments come after the Department of Health urged people travelling from Britain to “strictly adhere” to home quarantine amid the spread of the Delta variant.

“The numbers are concerning and we need to do what we can within reason to do what we can to protect people here,” Coveney said this afternoon. 

“We want to try and get the balance right between protecting the Common Travel Area with the UK as best we can because it’s very important, but also we need to take on board the very real and strong public health evidence,” Coveney told RTÉ’s This Week, adding he had spoken to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly yesterday about increased restrictions.  

“We are looking at this seriously, I don’t think you’re going to see dramatic changes in terms of quarantine and travel…certainly I think you will see some changes to reflect the concern and danger that the Delta variant represents,” he said. 

Coveney said this could include longer quarantine periods for unvaccinated people travelling from Britain to Ireland.

Meanwhile, Uganda was added to the mandatory hotel quarantine list yesterday evening. Afghanistan, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Trinidad and Tobago were all added to the list last weekend.

People arriving to Ireland who have been in or transited through these states in the previous 14 days must enter mandatory hotel quarantine.

Uganda will soon be included on the booking system for hotel quarantine. More information on the quarantine system is available here.

The Department of Health said it remains a legal requirement for all other arrivals into the country to have a negative or “not detected” result from a Covid-19 RT-PCR test carried out no more than 72 hours before their arrival.

It is also a legal requirement that they observe a 14-day period of mandatory “home” quarantine. This period can be shortened if the person receives a not-detected RT-PCR test result taken no less than five days after arrival.

“Due to concerns about the new variant of Covid-19, people travelling from Great Britain are strongly advised to avail of free testing five days after arrival in Ireland, and to strictly adhere to the legal requirements for home quarantine,” the Department said. 

There has been increasing concern over the spread of the Delta variant in the UK with Prime Minister Boris Johnson poised to sign off plans to delay the lifting of coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England amid growing concerns about the surge in case of the highly transmissible variant.

The Prime Minister is expected to agree to put the final easing of controls on hold for up to four weeks when he meets senior ministers and officials on his return today from the G7 summit in Cornwall.

It could mean that lockdown lifting – which had been slated for 21 June under the Government’s road map – will be put back to 19 July.

The move is expected to be confirmed in a formal announcement tomorrow. 

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Cabinet arrivals 010 Health Minister Stephen Donnelly Source: Sasko Lazarov

Ireland’s Department of Health yesterday confirmed 431 new cases of Covid-19.

It reported that 58 patients with Covid-19 are in hospital today, of whom 22 are in ICU.

Data relating to the number of deaths associated with Covid-19, as well as case numbers by county, have been affected by the cyber attack on the HSE IT systems.

Around 3.1 million doses of vaccines against Covid-19 have been administered in the State.

More than 2.2 million people have received a first dose (56.3% of the eligible population) and more than 1.1 million are fully vaccinated (28.1%).

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