Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

21.53 9 Apr 2021


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People arriving from countries including the US, France and Italy will face mandatory hotel quarantine from next week.

16 states have been added to the list of high-risk countries amid concerns over COVID-19 rates and variants.

They are Bangladesh, Belgium, France, Italy, Kenya, Luxembourg, Pakistan, Turkey, the USA, Canada, Armenia, Bermuda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Curaçao, Maldives and Ukraine.

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The new rules come into effect from 4am on Thursday.

It means all arrivals from the 16 countries will have to pay for a 12-day stay in a quarantine hotel.

Austria and smaller territories such as Monaco had previously been the only European countries on the list.

Albania, Israel and St Lucia have now been removed from the list, although people who are already quarantining will have to complete their stay.

The new additions were agreed during a Friday evening incorporeal Cabinet meeting.

The Government has also agreed all arrivals into the country will have to book another COVID-19 test after five days, in addition to requiring a negative test result on arrival.

After the meeting, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said: "The Government continues to advise against all non-essential international travel at this time. We can see a permanent pathway out of this pandemic but can’t allow Variants of Concern to set us back on the progress we have made.

“I would like to particularly thank my Ministerial colleagues in the Departments of Foreign Affairs, Justice, Transport and Defence, my officials in the Department of Health and across multiple government departments and other agencies in ensuring we can continue to act on public health advice.”

There had been recent reports of tensions within the Government over the proposed addition of EU countries to the quarantine list.

However, Eamon Ryan downplayed that earlier this week, saying there was no political row.

He said there were different opinions and different views, but it was “absolutely appropriate”.

Main image: Mof the Defence Forces at the entrace to the Crowne Plaza Hotel Santry, Dublin, as they await the arrival of passengers from high risk countries. Photograph: Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie

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