Cork MEP calls on the Government to cover hotel quarantine costs for returning Erasmus students

Cork MEP calls on the Government to cover hotel quarantine costs for returning Erasmus students

Cork MEP, Billy Kelleher has called on the Government to cover the mandatory hotel quarantine costs of Erasmus students returning to Ireland. Picture Conor McCabe Photography

CORK MEP, Billy Kelleher has called on the Government to cover the mandatory hotel quarantine costs of Erasmus students returning to Ireland.

The Fianna Fáil MEP was commenting after receiving representations from his party’s youth organisation, Ógra Fianna Fáil, requesting support for students on official Erasmus programmes.

Mr Kelleher said the State should cover the cost of hotel quarantining for returning Erasmus students. 

“If the medical advice is that they should spend time in mandatory quarantine, then it is very hard to argue with this change. However, what does need discussion is the significant financial cost quarantining in a hotel students and their families will have to incur,” he said.

The MEP for the South constituency said there are about 850 Irish students currently abroad on Erasmus programmes. 

“Erasmus students went abroad last September, supported by their educational institutions, and in many situations, funded by the Irish State, in good faith."

"Not all of them would be required to quarantine in a hotel so the cost to the State would be negligible.

“Ógra has suggested that the students’ sending institution i.e. their IT or university should pay the hotel bill upfront, and then receive a refund from the Department of Higher Education. There is, I believe, significant merit in their proposal and it warrants discussion at government level.” 

“I would urge the Government to look favourably on their proposals,” concluded Mr Kelleher.

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