A University College Cork professor has urged the Government to consider hotel quarantine for travellers from Britain.
Prof Gerry Kileen, co-founder of Independent Scientific Advocacy Group which supports Zero Covid policies, said hotel quarantine needs to be considered as the Delta variant makes up about 90 per cent of new Covid cases in the UK.
Currently travellers from Britain must self-quarantine but can move freely once they obtain a negative Covid-19 test no less than five days after arrival. The Government may increase the self-quarantine period to 10 days.
The Delta variant, which was first identified in India, is now the dominant strain in Britain and is proving to be 60 per cent more transmissible than the previously dominant Alpha strain.
Prof Kileen told Newstalk radio: “What we really need is consistent and carefully managed quarantine, which means unfortunately in a hotel, really something that's been urgently needed for a long time.
“We did it for P1 from Brazil and that worked, but we're kind of running out of time to stop a surge of Delta.”
Meanwhile, the deputy chief medical officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, said public health officials are increasingly worried about the Delta variant.
Speaking to Beat 102-103 radio on Monday, Dr Glynn said unvaccinated people have to remain vigilant.
“One thing that we're particularly concerned about is the Delta variant, and what impact that may have over the coming weeks,” he said.
“We're very keen for people, particularly people who have not been vaccinated, continue to follow the basic messages so that we don't run into trouble over the coming weeks.”
The number of Delta variant cases in the Republic has increased to 126, according to the latest update from the HSE.
In Northern Ireland, 111 probable and confirmed cases of the variant were detected up to last week.