Stephen Donnelly preparing to add more countries to mandatory quarantine list

ireland
Stephen Donnelly Preparing To Add More Countries To Mandatory Quarantine List
Stephen Donnelly is preparing to add more countries to the mandatory hotel quarantine list.
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It looks like a number of countries will be added to the mandatory hotel quarantine list in the coming weeks.

Government sources told the Irish Examiner that Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly is preparing to add more countries to the list.

Despite opposition from some Fine Gael members, France is set to be one of the countries added to the list as the Covid-19 infection rate worsens in the country.

Mr Donnelly has the legal power to add countries to the list without the approval of Cabinet ministers.

However, he does need the support of Attorney General Paul Gallagher. The Attorney General expressed concerns about the legality of plans to add more countries to the list last week.

One minister told the Irish Examiner there was “a strong view from the health experts that more need to be added and a real concern that we could see a repeat of Christmas, when Irish people came home and may have brought new variants with them.

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“With the vaccine rollout ramping up and summer coming, if ever there was a time it’s now.”

Deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn will be briefed by a travel advisory group on Wednesday with advisers expected to recommend adding countries, including Poland and the Netherlands, to the list.

Public health officials recommended adding 43 countries (including the United States, France and Germany) to the list last week which led to a row between the Department of Health and the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Instead, 26 countries were added to the list.

Of the 59 'designated states' whose passengers are required to complete two weeks of mandatory hotel quarantine, 12 have a Covid-19 incidence rate of below 10.

Seventeen of these countries also have a rate lower than any country in Europe, and 28 have rates below that of Ireland's (157.12).

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