Defence Forces will have 'supervisory role' in mandatory hotel quarantine says Donnelly

Defence Forces Will Have 'Supervisory Role' In Mandatory Hotel Quarantine Says Donnelly
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly (Julien Behal Photography), © PA Media
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Vivienne Clarke

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has explained that the Defence Forces will have a supervisory role in the State’s mandatory quarantine system, the booking portal for which has gone live today.

The Defence Forces will act as “State Liaison officers, full time on-site representatives of the State”, he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.


While the Defence Forces will not drive the buses bringing passengers from the airport to the hotel where they will quarantine, they will escort the buses between locations and private security will be at the hotels.

The Minister outlined what will happen when a passenger arrives in Ireland from one of the 33 Category 2 countries, or without a valid PCR test, saying an announcement will be made on the plane when it lands and passengers who have arrived or transited through those countries will be told to stay on the plane.

These passengers will then be escorted to a separate area where paperwork will be completed, and they will then go through customs in a separate area where they will be handed over to the Defence Forces who will have “end-to-end operational oversight”.

Passengers will be brought on a bus to a hotel, and given a welcome pack and a questionnaire. This will be followed by a health assessment and there will be daily assessments thereafter, he said.

People in quarantine will be confined to their room until they have a PCR negative result, after which they may be allowed out of the room - but under supervision, he added.

Mandatory hotel quarantine booking portal goes liv...
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If a passenger attempts to leave the hotel before the allocated time, Gardaí would be called as security officers would have no power of arrest, Mr Donnelly said.

There will be on-site medical assistance, including a doctor or a nurse, with regular PCR testing run by the HSE, he added.

Mr Donnelly said the purpose of the mandatory quarantine system is to act as a deterrent against non-essential travel to protect against variants entering the country, adding the UK had noted an 80 per cent fall in arrivals from countries for which mandatory quarantine was required.

“We want as little traffic from these countries as possible,” the Minister said.

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