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'I would be a little bit uneasy': People of Cork wary of international visitors at this time

Some Cork businesses are discouraging international passengers from visiting until their 14-day quarantine is complete but Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has ruled out mandatory quarantine for people arriving into Ireland, saying it “turned out to be a bit of a disaster” in Australia.

There have been increased calls for mandatory quarantine rules for people arriving from countries such as the US that have high numbers of coronavirus cases. 

Acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn said that, from a public health perspective, mandatory quarantine would be a “desirable measure” but it was up to the Government to decide given the wider implications.

Mr Varadkar said the Department of Health and Government have insisted mandatory quarantine would not be practical.

 Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has ruled out mandatory quarantine for people arriving into Ireland, saying it “turned out to be a bit of a disaster” in Australia. Photo:Gareth Chaney/Collins

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has ruled out mandatory quarantine for people arriving into Ireland, saying it “turned out to be a bit of a disaster” in Australia. Photo:Gareth Chaney/Collins

“It’s a high possibility this pandemic will go on for years until we have a vaccine or an effective treatment, and it’s just not practical to cut ourselves off to international travel for that long — whether it’s business, leisure, essential workers, people visiting friends, and relatives, people coming home,” he said. 

“The objective was to flatten the curve, suppress the virus, it was never to eliminate the virus. 

"New Zealand thought they’d done that and they haven’t — they now have new cases every day." 

"Australia tried mandatory quarantine and it turned out to be a bit of a disaster. 

"The centres, the hotels in which they quarantine people became clusters for infection and now Melbourne is in a second lockdown."

Mr Varadkar said the Government intends to publish a "green list" of countries where it safe to travel to and from without having to quarantine next week.

The Blue Haven Hotel in Kinsale is one of a number of businesses asking international travellers to stay away for 14 days. 

 The Blue Haven Hotel in Kinsale is one of a number of businesses asking international travellers to stay away for 14 days. 

The Blue Haven Hotel in Kinsale is one of a number of businesses asking international travellers to stay away for 14 days. 


Hotel management said that although staff are looking forward to being able to welcome everyone that walks in their door very soon, that “for now to keep everyone safe, we request that all guidelines are adhered to prior to us being able to do so”.

“In the interest of public safety and in complying with the government policy, we kindly ask that individuals and groups visiting from outside of Ireland, who have not completed 14 days of self-quarantining, please do not enter the premises until you do," they said.

Currently, it is not legally mandatory for someone to be detained to ensure they are self-isolating but anyone arriving into the country must fill out a passenger locator form.

The Echo took to the streets of Cork yesterday to ask people their opinion about letting international visitors into the country. 

Here is what they had to say: 

Eoin Nash - Ballincollig 

Eoin Nash. Picture: Denis Minihane.
Eoin Nash. Picture: Denis Minihane.

Eoin Nash, Ballincollig, is wary about letting international visitors in.

"I’d be mindful of it. 

"There is a lot of people vulnerable and we need to be mindful that we maintain where we are. 

"We are trying to come back to some sort of normality. 

"I suppose you need to be mindful that there are businesses dependent on bringing in money as well.”

Bridette O'Connor - Farnanes

Bridette O'Connor. Picture: Denis Minihane.
Bridette O'Connor. Picture: Denis Minihane.

Bridette O’Connor, Farnanes, understands tourism is important but says welcoming international tourists could be dangerous.

“It’s a bit of a conundrum. 

"A lot of people’s income depends on it, but at the same time if it’s going to have a detrimental effect than it is probably not worth it. 

"I think we actually should close the borders.”

Mary McCarthy - Carrigaline

Mary McCarthy. Picture: Denis Minihane.
Mary McCarthy. Picture: Denis Minihane.

Mary McCarthy, Carrigaline, is "dead against tourists coming in at the moment, especially Americans".

“I don’t agree with it at all. 

"They haven’t done anything about it. I think they should clamp it down for another month, all flights, in and out.

“We were supposed to go to the Isle of Wight, cancelled it for our own safety.”

Ann Burke - Cork city

Ann Burke. Picture: Denis Minihane.
Ann Burke. Picture: Denis Minihane.

Ann Burke, Cork city, favours a full ban for now.

“I really do think no one should be travelling in or out of the country. I think there should be a full ban on travel.

“I would be a little bit uneasy about people coming in. 

"Travelling on planes is not a good idea. I think it sends the wrong message allowing people to come into the country.”

Michelle O'Brien - Fair Hill

Michelle O'Brien. Picture: Denis Minihane.
Michelle O'Brien. Picture: Denis Minihane.

Michelle O’Brien, Fair Hill, would favour closing the borders.

“The fact that we have to staycation and then we see tourists coming into our country, especially when they are not self-isolating, how in the name of God are we going to try and curb Covid when this is being allowed?

“I think we should close the borders to help curb the virus.”