Michael Staines
Michael Staines

15.31 7 Apr 2021


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There is no political row between Government departments over the planned extension of mandatory hotel quarantine, according to the Green Party leader.

Last week, 26 new countries and states were added to the quarantine list; however, the Government decided not to include France, Germany, Italy or the US.

Health officials had originally recommended adding 43 countries to the list; however, the Government delayed its decision on 17 of them after both the Attorney General and Foreign Affairs Minister expressed concerns about the plans.

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Children arrive at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry, Dublin on the first day of the new hotel quarantine system, 26-03-2021. Image: Leon Farrell/RollingNews

Cabinet will consider whether to include EU countries on the list when it meets next Tuesday; however, a range of different Government departments have reportedly expressed concerns over the plan.

Speaking this afternoon, the Green Party leader and Transport Minister Eamon Ryan played down

“I don’t believe it is accurate to say our officials were opposed to the Department of Health or there is a row at political level,” he said.

“You have different opinions and different views, people question how we do things, that is absolutely appropriate – but I don’t think it is the Department of Health versus other departments; I don’t think that is the case.”

Quarantine Members of the Irish Defence Forces standing guard at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry, Dublin, 26-03-2021. Image: Leon Farrell/RollingNews

He said Ministers are working together to find a solution.

“I had a very good conversation with the Taoiseach, Tánaiste, Simon Coveney and Stephen Donnelly yesterday,” he said.

“We will work collectively; we will adjust the list and then we will adjust it again. This is the thing about the virus is that it keeps changing and circumstances in different countries keep changing.”

The Minister said he expects Cabinet to approve a decision next Tuesday, noting that it will then, “take us a number of days after that to implement whatever measures.”

Last week, travel expert Eoghan Corry warned that the mandatory quarantine system is a “tremendous waste of everybody’s energy” that won’t have any effect on the coronavirus response.

Yesterday however, public health expert Dr Gabriel Scally said Ireland should have a full quarantine system that applies to everyone arriving into the country.


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