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First group of passengers arrive in Ireland for mandatory hotel quarantine

All arrivals into Ireland, from 33 selected countries, must now stay in a hotel for 12-days before they are free to travel in Ireland.

Image: PA

Updated Mar 26th 2021, 2:44 PM

THE FIRST GROUP of people to face mandatory hotel quarantine in Ireland has arrived at the designated facility.

Around 20 passengers arriving at Dublin Airport were transferred by bus to the first quarantine centre at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry.

It marks the beginning of Ireland’s mandatory hotel quarantine system for passengers arriving from countries flagged as high risk for Covid-19 transmission.

As of 4am on Friday, all passengers from one of the 33 countries deemed high risk by the Government will have to quarantine for 12 nights at a hotel.

Passengers were transferred from the airport by bus, which was escorted by Army vehicles.

The stay at the hotel could be reduced if a person receives a negative test for the virus taken on day 10 of quarantine.

Countries on the list include Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Chile, Mauritius, Rwanda, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and Zimbabwe.

Travellers are required to pre-book accommodation in a designated quarantine facility and to pre-pay for their stay.

The booking portal for mandatory hotel quarantining went live on the Government website earlier this week.

The cost per adult traveller for a 12-night stay inclusive of all services is €1,875.

The Tifco Hotel Group, which has been appointed as the service provider, will provide full board accommodation, as well as ground transportation, security services and health and wellbeing services.

The Crowne Plaza Dublin Airport Hotel was the first hotel to begin receiving quarantining travellers.

If a person does not fulfil the legal requirement for mandatory hotel quarantine they are committing an offence, and can receive a fine of up to €2,500 and/or a six-month prison sentence.

The new quarantine rules also apply to any passenger who arrives from any other country without a negative PCR test for Covid-19 carried out no more than 72 hours before they arrive in Ireland.

Those passengers will have to pay a day rate of 150 euro.

The Defence Forces will not be involved in the everyday security or care of passengers in mandatory hotel quarantining.

According to the Government’s Covid-19 guidelines, anyone who arrives into Ireland from a country not deemed high risk must quarantine at home provided they have a negative PCR test.

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

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On 26 February, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly designated an additional 13 countries and territories as “Category 2 Countries and Territories”. These countries/territories are: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Panama, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.

The 20 other currently 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.

Gardaí will not be involved with the process but will be called by staff if someone leaves the hotel.

The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors said this morning that they are unhappy about this given the risk of infection to their unvaccinated gardaí.

The AGSI said that this risk was high because officers will attend the hotel and then immediately go to another call in the community, potentially spreading the virus.

The booking portal for mandatory hotel quarantine in Ireland is available to access here (desktop and iOS users) or by copying and pasting https://quarantinehotelsireland.ie into your browser if you’re on an Android phone. More information about mandatory quarantine can be found here. 

The new measure covers any passenger who was in one of these countries in the last two weeks, including those who are transiting through an airport.

- With reporting from PA

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