Jack Quann
Jack Quann

17.57 23 Mar 2021


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Transport Minister Eamon Ryan has said the Government was slow at implementing mandatory hotel quarantine here as it is not easy to introduce.

He was speaking as the measures will come into effect as of the first flights arriving here on Friday.

Passengers must book and pay for their stay in advance - with a 12-night stay in a quarantine hotel costing €1,875 for one adult.

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Minister Ryan told The Hard Shoulder Ireland is the first EU country to implement this system.

"It's opening on Friday and we will be the first country in the European Union to introduce such a system.

"It's probably the strictest system going - Norway does something similar, but actually it's not as strict because they allow Norwegian residents to quarantine in their home, even if they're coming from a Category 2 country.

"So let us give this the chance".

Replying to criticism from Labour leader Alan Kelly, Mr Ryan said: "The opposition at the moment, I think, doesn't have a solution it seems to me."

Host Kieran Cuddidy then suggested the Government was 'not exactly quick' in introducing the system.

Mr Ryan replied: "Yeah true, but it's not an easy thing to introduce - because there are civil liberties and other issues involved you have to get right.

"And I think that has been done now - but as I've said, no other country has done it because it is quite a challenge".

Ryan says mandatory hotel quarantine took time as 'it's not easy to introduce'

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While travel expert Eoghan Corry has suggested the system is still reliant on people being honest as to where they came from.

He said: "There's two flights that come from designated countries, they are the Emirates and the Etihad services, the rest will have transferred through another airport.

"And it's not quite clear: is it being left to the passenger - which I suspect it is - to declare that they've come from those countries.

"There is an important proviso here as well for people who have people coming from South Africa and Brazil - the two main non-European countries - but obviously Austria is quite a significant inclusion in that list.

"If you have not been in that country in the previous 14 days, you are now subject to the ordinary self-isolation we all must do when we arrive - and not the mandatory hotel quarantine.

"That gives the option of people who prefer not to camp down in Santry for their 14 day quarantine, to be able to do it in a transit country."

Main image: Green Party Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan speaking to media as he arrives at Government Buildings for Cabinet. Picture by: Sasko Lazarov / RollingNews.ie

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