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Mandatory hotel quarantine to effectively end with all remaining countries removed from list

The decision is based on the latest advice received from Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan.

Members of the Defence Forces escort people to Mandatory Hotel Quarantine.
Members of the Defence Forces escort people to Mandatory Hotel Quarantine.
Image: RollingNews.ie

ALL REMAINING STATES have been removed from Ireland’s list of designated countries for Mandatory Hotel Quarantine with effect from today.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly made the announcement this afternoon, noting that the decision was based on the latest advice received from Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan.

The hotel quarantine system has been scaled down over recent months as the designation of a large number of States has been revoked. Just six countries were on the most recent list, all of them were in South America.

The Government says these revocations have been in line with its revised approach to international travel, the success of Ireland’s vaccine roll-out and the evolution of the pandemic internationally.

A total of 10,294 people entered the mandatory quarantine system during its operation. Eight hotels were used to facilitate the system and 593 residents tested positive for Covid-19 during their quarantine period.

Minister Donnelly said: “The Mandatory Hotel Quarantine (MHQ) 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. 

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“At the peak of the system’s operation some 60 states were designated and the greatest number of persons in MHQ at one time reached 1,008 on 9 May 2021. The successful operation of MHQ 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.

Despite the hotel quarantine system being wound down, travellers must still abide by the relevant travel regulations.

These regulations include the requirement to have a pre-travel PCR test unless in possession of proof of vaccination or recovery, and the requirements relating to home-based quarantine. Travellers are also required to complete a passenger locator form prior to their arrival to Ireland.

About the author:

Céimin Burke

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