About 500 Irish students who are studying in EU countries that have been added to mandatory hotel quarantine list will have their quarantine paid for by the State under new plans.
Five EU member states — Austria, Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg — were recently added to the quarantine list.
This raised questions from higher education officials over the costs facing returning Irish students.
Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris is working on a plan with the Higher Education Authority to cover the costs of returning Irish students, according to The Irish Times.
His spokeswoman said: “Minister Harris can confirm agreement has been reached to do this and further details will be provided over the coming days.”
She said the returning students are due back on a staggered basis between now and August.
There are around 1,000 Irish students on Erasmus programmes across the EU, with half of these in the five states that have been added to the mandatory quarantine list.
The cost of paying for their accommodation is likely to be up to €1 million.
A 12-night mandatory quarantine stay is priced at €1,875.
The State is likely to cover the students' costs as the Government funds Erasmus programmes, including travel and some additional costs.