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Crowne Plaza Dublin Airport Hotel in Santry, Source: booking.com

Arrivals from 33 high-risk countries to endure mandatory hotel quarantine in Ireland

Arrivals from 33 high-risk countries to endure mandatory hotel quarantine in Ireland

Crowne Plaza Dublin Airport Hotel in Santry will be the first facility to receive passengers

Following the UK example, Ireland is to introduce mandatory hotel quarantine for arrivals from 33 high-risk countries, starting 26 March. A booking portal is now operational.

Powerful deterrent

Incoming passengers who have been in or have travelled through a port or an airport of one of the 33 designated states will be required to spend 14 days of mandatory hotel quarantine at a designated facility. The rate per person is EUR 1,875 for 12 nights.

Isolation period could be reduced if a passenger receives a not-detected result of a COVID-19 test that is taken after ten days. It may also be extended if a passenger tests positive during their stay.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said the purpose of the measure was to act as a deterrent, citing data that found incoming travel to England shrinking by 80 percent in the first week of quarantine.

Which are the high-risk countries?

There are currently 33 countries (mainly in Africa and South America, and one in Europe) on the Government's Category 2 list of "high risk" countries. They include: Angola, Argentina, Austria, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Eswatini, French Guiana, Guyana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Suriname, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Donnelly clarified why the UK is not on the list, saying the reason is that the variant first detected in Great Britain is already circulating in Ireland. 

Hotel quarantine will be also in store for any passenger who arrives into the Republic of Ireland without the required negative PCR test. The day rate for those arrivals will be EUR 150. According to Minister Donnelly, passengers who arrive from a country that is not on the Category 2 list without a negative PCR test will be allowed to quarantine at home once they have had a clear PCR result. All quarantined persons will be tested on the day they arrive, with the result expected by the next day.

Security issues

The first facility that will receive arriving passengers is the Crowne Plaza Dublin Airport Hotel in Santry. The service provider - Tifco Hotel Group - will provide full board accommodation, along with transportation, security, health and well-being services.

The Defence Forces will oversee transportation and act as State liaison officers for the passengers. Gardaí (the Police) will be called in response to incidents, such as when a traveller leaves the hotel before their quarantine is over. Minister Donnelly said once travellers obtain a negative PCR test, they will be allowed to leave their room up to three times a day for a breath of fresh air.

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