Cabinet signed off on a decision to add India to Ireland’s “red list” of countries from which arriving passengers must undergo mandatory hotel quarantine. Leah Farrell/

India to be added to Ireland's mandatory hotel quarantine list

Three cases of the B1617 variant, which was first identified in India, have been confirmed in the Republic.

INDIA WILL BE added to Ireland’s mandatory hotel quarantine list, according to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly. 

Cabinet agreed to sign off on his decision to add India to the mandatory hotel quarantine list this morning.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said on Sunday that India is currently facing “huge challenges” and is a warning sign to the rest of the world.

The country was added to the UK’s coronavirus ‘red list’ for travel last week, in response to mounting concern about the number of cases there and the emergence of a variant ‘of interest’.

A number of cases of the B1617 variant, which was first identified in India, have been confirmed in Ireland. At least two of these cases are travel-related.

Asked today whether India was to be made a category 2 country meaning mandatory hotel quarantine is required, Donnelly told reporters this afternoon that Cabinet had signed off on the recommendation 

“I received a recommendation to add India as a variant of concern country and that was agreed by Cabinet today as well,” he said. 

India reported more than 350,000 confirmed cases in 24 hours yesterday, with hospitals in crisis, turning away patients due to a lack of oxygen and bed capacity

The south Asian nation is struggling to cope with a surge in coronavirus infections, and has recorded the world’s highest single-day increase in Covid-19 cases on several occasions recently.

Yesterday it was announced that Ireland is to donate 700 oxygen concentrators to India as part of efforts to assist with the devastating Covid-19 outbreak in the country.

The oxygen concentrators are devices that draws oxygen from the air and delivers it to patients.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said: “Ireland is among the first states to confirm concrete support to India.

“At a time of great difficulty for India, we want to show solidarity with a country and people with whom we have strong historical and modern day relations.

“We are glad to provide this support at a time of such need and to be doing so as part of a wider EU response.”

- With reporting by Rónán Duffy

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