Quarantine rules 'a big ask' for families living abroad

People across the country have voiced their opinions on whether quarantine rules should remain in...

17.21 9 Sep 2020

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Quarantine rules 'a big ask' f...

Quarantine rules 'a big ask' for families living abroad


17.21 9 Sep 2020

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People across the country have voiced their opinions on whether quarantine rules should remain in place when new travel guidelines are published next week. 

The Government is expected to issue the updated guidance as part of its 'Living with COVID' roadmap.

The current restrictions on travel mean that people coming from non-green list countries have to restrict their movements for two weeks on arrival in Ireland.


However, Ireland has been described as "totally out on our own" in the EU with the current restrictions, with Ryanair warning it may have to close its bases in Cork and Shannon this winter.

Calling into Lunchtime Live today, people who have been impacted by the travel restrictions aired their views on whether the current quarantine rules were adequate.

Julie from Kilkenny, who has three grown-up children living in London, is making the decision not to travel when her first grandchild is born in the coming weeks.

She said: "It won't be fair to the child or the parents as much as we would love to see this child

"It's putting too much risk on them all."

She hasn't seen her children since December but has been using technology to keep in contact.

Julie added: "I think we would be safer and they would be safer if people didn't travel as much.

"The way I look at it, we would have to stay somewhere for two weeks before we see them, and where would we go?"

'I'm not sure where we stand'

Jean, who lives in London with her husband and two children, only moved to the city last October.

She said: "We were quite new here when everything kicked off so we still feel quite attached to home.

"We went home for a little while in March, I was due to go home for a week with my kids to visit family.

"We went and after a few days realised how things were, particularly in the UK at the time, so we decided to stay a bit longer.

"My husband joined us then from London and he was working remotely and I think at the time we felt the Government in Ireland had a much better grip on things and seemed much more proactive in trying to tackle it.

"The UK seemed to be floundering a bit so we decided to ride out the storm in Dublin.

"The weeks turned into a couple of months but we are back in London now.

"We thought things were dying down a bit...but now I'm not sure where we stand or when we'll get back to Ireland."

Travel notice at Dublin Airport Travel notice at Dublin Airport. Picture by: Brian Lawless/PA Wire/PA Images

Jean says that when the family flew back to London in July, the airports were very quiet and they felt safe travelling.

She said the problem with coming back to Ireland now would be the requirement to quarantine for two weeks which would be "a big ask".

She said: "If this goes on for months and months and months, I'll definitely need to come home at some point.

"I think there will come a point where I'll be so desperate that I would consider coming home and doing a two-week quarantine but where would we quarantine, we can't stay with our parents because that would defeat the purpose of it.

"If we were really desperate I suppose we would look at renting somewhere but if you rented somewhere for 14 days that's a huge cost."

Moral compass

Gillian, originally from Scotland, is due to pick up her husband in Dublin Airport this evening after he spent three weeks visiting family in the UK.

She said: "My problem is how do I deal with the quarantine situation.

"Listening to Leo [Varadkar] talking on Newstalk this morning, the word 'essential' keeps coming up.

She said her husband will be coming back with her to their house so now she is "frantically trying to work out" how to make the house a safe space for them both.

Gillian added: "The term that I use is the 'moral compass', and I think that as individuals, wherever we're living in Europe, we have to look at our own moral compass.

"It's not about the 'I' it's about the 'we'.

"There's lots of things we all want to do, we all want to go flying and we all want to go to wet bars, and I am pro all of that, but we also have to ask to ourselves is that absolutely essential and necessary right now.

"We have to take responsibility for our own actions.

Jo in Dublin, who is originally from the UK, said she has not been to visit family since Christmas.

She questioned that if people could travel and follow all the restrictions, then why would there be a need to quarantine.

She said: "We're all meant to be following these guidelines when we're is it any different to if I went to a pub indoors?

"Obviously, if they do think its really important that people quarantine when they come back then that's understandable and we'll do it."

Main image: Passengers wearing masks as they come through arrivals in Dublin Airport. Picture by: Leah Farrell /

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