Hotel quarantines to be considered for tighter control on travellers

ireland
Hotel Quarantines To Be Considered For Tighter Control On Travellers
The Government is to consider stricter controls on incoming travellers amid new variants of Covid-19. Photo: PA Images.
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By Digital Desk Staff

The Government is to consider stricter controls on incoming travellers, including hotel quarantines, amid concern surrounding new variants of Covid-19.

The Irish Times reports that Government sources say Ministers will discuss all aspects of travel regulations in the Republic this week, in light of new strains from the UK, South Africa and Brazil.

There have been 1,500 arrivals from Brazil in the past two weeks, who have now been asked by the Minister for Health to get a Covid-19 test and restrict their movements.

Government sources say they cannot rule out a mandatory 14-day quarantine period in a hotel for incoming travellers, though it would be legally complex.

It comes as officials in Britain have been told to prepare for the creation of “quarantine hotels” for those arriving into the country, similar to the “managed isolation” requirement in New Zealand.

Infectious variants

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Tightened controls on travel into the Republic came into force on Saturday, with the requirement for all arrivals to provide proof of a negative test for Covid-19 taken within a 72-hour window before travel.

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Sinn Féin has called for the State to introduce mandatory quarantines for people arriving from abroad, saying Ireland risks becoming a "pariah" state if other more infectious variants break out.

More infectious variants of Covid-19 that originated in the UK (known as B117) and South Africa (B1351) have been found in the Republic.

A variant originating in Brazil (P1) has not yet been detected in Ireland.

The UK variant is now believed to account for a significant proportion of Irish cases, with recent sampling finding a quarter of positive Covid-19 cases to contain the more infectious variant.

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