A bus leaves Dublin Airport with passenger arrivals who are required to quarantine in a hotel. RollingNews.ie photo.
By Anthony Neeson
The Irish government has added a further 16 countries to the list of states whereby people arriving in Ireland must complete mandatory hotel quarantine – including the U.S. and Canada and four European Union countries.
However, there is concern regarding the overall capacity to handle the anticipated volume.
The decision to add to the list of designated states was approved at a government meeting on Friday evening, April 9. Passengers from these countries will enter quarantine starting from 4 a.m. on Thursday, April 15.
Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, said protecting public health as a matter of urgency “has been to the fore of these decisions around mandatory quarantine."
“This is another strong move following public health advice relating to variants of Concern with Coivd-19,” he said.
“These variants pose a significant risk to our fight against this disease and our vaccination program. This decision also reinforces Ireland’s biosecurity, ensuring we have the strongest measures in place in Europe.”
The additional countries on the list are: Bangladesh, Belgium, France, Italy, Kenya, Luxembourg, Pakistan, Turkey, the USA, Canada, Armenia, Bermuda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Curaçao, Maldives and Ukraine.
Minister Donnelly added: “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.”
Infection numbers from Covid in Ireland continues to fall as are the number of people dying from the virus. On Sunday, April 11, it was announced that there were two further deaths and 303 confirmed new cases.
Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ronan Glynn at the Department of Health said: “There are many reasons for hope as we head into a new week: This is the lowest number of daily cases reported since mid-December. People’s efforts continue to make a real difference; by keeping our social contacts low we are making it much harder for Covid-19 to spread.
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“This morning we had the lowest number of people newly hospitalized with Covid-19 since the end of November. Last week the millionth vaccine was given and this week should see a step-change in the number of doses administered.”
He added that all children had returned to school by Monday, April 13, and people can now travel within their own county.
Meanwhile, the Irish government is reportedly considering lifting quarantine requirements for people arriving in the country who have undergone a fill course of vaccination.