Ukrainians living in hotels and government provided accommodation here will be permitted to return home for Christmas.
The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth decided to permit Ukrainian refugees who are living in hotels and other State provided accommodation to travel freely for the Christmas period.
"In order to facilitate Beneficiaries of Temporary Protection to travel, whether within Ireland or abroad, a decision has been made to allow unrestricted absences from 22 December 2023 – 08 January 2024," it said.
Ukrainian refugees can now leave their state-provided accommodation between December 22nd and January 8th without having to notify the authorities in advance.
The Department warned that anyone who is absent from their accommodation after January 8th must have an approved exceptional absence.
If they do not have approval, they could risk being evicted from their accommodation.
Travel in 'exceptional circumstances'
The Government previously introduced new policies that Ukrainian refugees could no longer leave their State-provided accommodation unless it was under “exceptional circumstances”.
Before the new protocol, refugees could leave their accommodation for a maximum of seven days over a six-month period.
The new regulations, in place since October 7th, reduce the length of time Ukrainians can leave their accommodation from seven days to zero.
It is understood the move is aimed at making Ireland less appealing to refugees.
It is understood the Government is working on a new policy putting a three-month time limit on their State-provided accommodation.
After that, they would have to find their own accommodation or move into a home made available through the offer-a-home scheme.