US, Germany, Italy and France could be added to hotel quarantine list

The countries are identified as having Covid variants of concern or high levels of community transmission.
US, Germany, Italy and France could be added to hotel quarantine list

Travellers to Ireland from the United States and a number of EU countries, including Italy, Germany and France, may have to quarantine in hotels after a recommendation from the Travel Expert Advisory Group.

The Irish Examiner reports that the group has recommended the current list of 33 be more than doubled, with 43 countries added, including the US.

The countries are identified as having Covid variants of concern or high levels of community transmission.

The advice was sent to the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly on Monday night and forwarded to Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney.

Sources told The Examiner that no decision has been made as of yet.

The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry near Dublin Airport which is used as a Covid-19 quarantine hotel for air travellers arriving into Ireland. Photo: PA

The new list is seen as diplomatically sensitive for the Government as it contains a number of key economic allies.

The current list contains several countries with no direct flights to Ireland and minimal passenger numbers in a normal year.

The potential move comes less than a week after the system came into force. On Saturday three people absconded from their hotel quarantine in Santry, north Dublin.

The Government is sticking with arrangements not to assign gardaí to police Covid-19 quarantine hotels, despite the breaches.

People can be fined up to €2,000 or face imprisonment of up to one month for breaches.

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