Michael Staines
Michael Staines

06.20 15 Jun 2021


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Plans for extra restrictions on people travelling from Britain to Ireland are being brought before Cabinet this morning.

It comes amid increasing concerns over the Delta variant, first identified in India, which now accounts for around 90% of cases there.

While an extension of mandatory hotel quarantine is not under consideration, ministers will be asked to strengthen home quarantine rules.

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Under the proposals, unvaccinated passengers arriving from Britain will need to isolate for 10 days with negative tests on day 5 and day 10.

Fully vaccinated passengers will be able to leave quarantine with a negative test after day 5.

Sinn Féin Transport spokesperson, Darren O'Rourke, told Newstalk that rapid antigen testing should be in use on all flights between Ireland and Britain.

“I think now is a very opportune time to introduce serial antigen testing as has been proposed by a number of international experts in the area,” he said.

“I think it could provide an additional source of protection for people who are travelling for essential reasons but also for people who aren’t travelling and are living in the community.”

He said calls for mandatory hotel quarantine would throw up “real problems” due to the amount of essential travel that happens between the two islands.

Justice Minister Heather Humphreys is also bringing a memo to Cabinet seeking to lift the emergency visa requirements for a number of South American countries.

The requirements were brought in earlier this year to reduce travel due to fears over new variants.

Under Minister Humphreys’ proposal, they will be lifted for Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, South Africa, Suriname and Uruguay.

Passengers from all of the countries will still be required to enter mandatory hotel quarantine when arriving in Ireland.

For Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Suriname, the lifting of the visa restrictions applies for transit Visas only.

Cabinet is also expected to discuss the Mica redress scheme ahead of a large protest planned for this afternoon and sign up to an EU declaration pledging to end homelessness by 2030.

Reporting from Seán Defoe and Adrian Harmon


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