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Travellers from three specific states are now permitted to leave mandatory hotel quarantine early

The requirement to quarantine in a hotel for arrivals from Israel, Albania and St Lucia has been lifted.

A Defence Forces vehicle waiting to escort the express bus for passengers from high risk countries on the first day of mandatory hotel quarantine in March.
A Defence Forces vehicle waiting to escort the express bus for passengers from high risk countries on the first day of mandatory hotel quarantine in March.
Image: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

TRAVELLERS TO IRELAND from three countries removed from the mandatory hotel quarantine list are no longer required to complete their quarantine period in a hotel. 

Passengers from Israel, Albania and St Lucia who arrived while the countries were on the list can now leave their hotels and quarantine at home instead.

Travellers from the three countries were required to enter mandatory hotel quarantine if they arrived into Ireland after 4am on 6 April.

The states were removed from the list three days later on 9 April, but passengers who had arrived were told they would need to complete their period of quarantine.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has now revoked the mandatory hotel quarantine requirement for Albania, Israel and St Lucia arrivals on the advice of Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn and an expert advisory group on travel.

Instead of completing a minimum of 10 days in a hotel, arrivals from those three locations can instead quarantine at home.

The legal requirement for them to quarantine at home for 14 days is in place unless they have obtained a “not detected” result on a PCR test for Covid-19 on the fifth day or later after their arrival in Ireland.

Donnelly said that the mandatory hotel quarantine system is a “key element in the protection of public health, especially during the present critical period for our Covid-19 vaccination programme”.

“In the coming days I intend to designate a number of additional states so as to ensure that Ireland is protected as far as possible from importation of variants of concern, which pose a significant risk to our fight against this disease,” he said.

There are 16 countries and territories that are being added to the list this week: Bangladesh, Belgium, France, Italy, Kenya, Luxembourg, Pakistan, Turkey, the USA, Canada, Armenia, Bermuda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Curaçao, Maldives, Ukraine.

Any travellers who arrive from those countries after 4am on Thursday, 15 April will be required to quarantine in a hotel.

Yesterday, two passengers who flew to Ireland from Israel and brought cases to the High Court against their stays in mandatory hotel quarantine were allowed to leave their hotels.

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Inbar Aviezer and Derek Jennings were permitted to leave their hotels in Dublin on the foot of a ministerial order.

For countries on the list, the mandatory hotel quarantine lasts a minimum of ten days and can be extended if the traveller tests positive while they are isolating.

Leaving the hotel without authorisation or resisting the quarantine period are criminal offences that can carry a fine of up to €2,000 and/or one month’s imprisonment.

Before Israel was removed from the list, citizens questioned why the country was included when a large proportion of its population has been vaccinated.

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