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Second person who absconded from hotel quarantine located

The location of another remains unknown.

A member of the Defence Forces prepares to escort passengers to mandatory quarantine from Dublin Airport.
A member of the Defence Forces prepares to escort passengers to mandatory quarantine from Dublin Airport.
Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

A SECOND PERSON who absconded from a mandatory hotel quarantine facility has been located.

Three people left the hotel in north Dublin yesterday. One was later located by gardaí.

A second returned to the hotel themselves today, but the location of the third person remains unknown.

Speaking on RTÉ’s This Week programme, Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said confirmed that the two people who left the hotel “when they shouldn’t have” are now back in the hotel.

“The gardaí are doing their job in terms of locating people,” he said.

Coveney said 34 more people will arrive today for mandatory hotel quarantine. 

“We are trying to create as normal an atmosphere as possible in these hotels, rather than some kind of military detention,” he said when asked about concerns raised from some  about the conditions they are staying in.

He defended the system, stating: 

“Any country that has introduced mandatory hotel quarantine has had problems, this is not a straightforward process. That’s why no other country in the EU is doing it, except ours.

“But we believe it’s justified to keep new variants out of the country, and to manage the spread of this virus from abroad,” he added.

“We’re going to make it work,” said Coveney. 

Explaining the operations of the mandatory hotel quarantine system, he said the Defence Forces are on site at the hotels, but “they’re not there to stop people leaving, they’re in a supervisory capacity to make sure that all the protocols are operating as they should”.

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If somebody leaves a hotel, then the gardaí will be notified straightaway, he said, “and they will take the appropriate action which is what’s happening here”.

“Obviously, on first day of operation, it’s not ideal that people have tried to leave,” he said.

Mandatory hotel quarantine came into effect on Friday morning. All passengers arriving into Ireland from 33 countries designated countries are now required to pre-book accommodation, and to pre-pay for their stay.

Those without a negative or not detected PCR test from at most three days before their arrival into Ireland are also required to quarantine.

It is a criminal offence to leave a mandatory quarantine facility without authorisation, with fines of up to €2,000 or a month’s imprisonment.

Additional reporting by Christina Finn

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