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20 countries to be on Ireland's mandatory hotel quarantine list

Primary legislation is required before people are mandated to quarantine in hotels.

A passenger in Dublin Airport.
A passenger in Dublin Airport.
Image: RollingNews.ie

A FURTHER 18 countries are to be added to the list of countries from where people arriving here would be required to quarantine in a hotel, bringing the total to 20. 

Primary legislation is required before people are mandated to quarantine in hotels, but people arriving from “category 2″ countries are currently legally required to self-quarantine for a full two weeks. 

Previously, Brazil and South Africa were the only countries on this list but the Taoiseach has now confirmed that 18 other countries are to be treated the same way. 

Speaking on RTÉ Morning Ireland today, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that Austria, the United Arab Emirates, and countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are among those that will be added to the list later today.

The Tánaiste said today in the Dáil that 16 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa will be included. 

Anyone arriving into this country without a negative PCR test is also considered “category 2″ and must quarantine for a full two weeks. 

Legislation for mandatory hotel quarantine could be published next week but no firm timeline has yet been laid out. 

The government first proposed the plan for mandatory hotel quarantine a fortnight ago but has come under additional pressure to fast-track the measure ahead of its introduction in England from next Monday. 

Ahead of Monday, the UK Government yesterday published a list of 33 ‘red list’ countries from which people will be required to spend 10 days in a government-designated hotel.

In the Dáil yesterday afternoon, Sinn Féin TD Darren O’Rourke said that the UK move had “exposed the Irish government’s excuses and delays in this area”.

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“Mandatory hotel quarantine can be done and there is no reason it should not be done here for all non-essential arrivals,” he said. 

O’Rourke asked Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan whether he has spoken to his counterpart in London “about Ireland being used as a back door into Britain” and when Ireland would have a more comprehensive list. 

The minister responded: “This is the most serious issue and one on which we take and follow public health advice. The public health advice will come later this afternoon as to which additional countries we, similar to the UK, should consider applying much stricter restrictions. We will implement that advice with full speed.”

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Rónán Duffy

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