There will be no exceptions under hotel quarantine rules, says FG TD

There will be no exceptions under hotel quarantine rules, says FG TD

Passengers arrive into Terminal 2, Dublin Airport. file picture: Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

This week, it was announced that arrivals from 18 additional countries will have to complete two-weeks of mandatory quarantine.

There is now a total of 20 countries on the list for mandatory quarantine in hotels and the legislation for this is expected to be ready by next week.

Any individual who does not complete the two-week quarantine period faces a fine of up to €2,500 or six months in prison.

Fine Gael TD Peter Burke said work is ongoing to identify facilities in the vicinity of the airport where people can stay for the two-week period.

While figures released by the Government show that more than 5,200 people who landed in Dublin Airport last week were travelling for non-essential reasons, there are many people who are returning home to visit family members who are ill or in some cases dying.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio 1 Saturday with Katie Hannon, Mr Burke said that it will be a blanket measure and there will not be exceptions made.

He said this must be the case as there are serious variants of Covid-19 found in other parts of the world and the government must act to try to ensure that those are kept out of Ireland.

Elaina Fitzgerald Kane, President of the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF), said hotel owners are ready to assist the Government as much as possible in terms of implementing the new quarantine system.

While initial discussions with the government but there are no site-specific details as of yet.

Sinn Féin's Louise O'Reilly said that it is worrying that these specific plans are not yet in place.

Ms O'Reilly said people are frustrated and asking why the preparatory work was not done in the months leading up to the decision to implement hotel quarantining.

"I think that there was huge amounts of time lost on this and when we see the virulence of these strains that exist abroad people are asking the very simple question 'why are we seeing images on our television of people who are coming home from non-essential travel and simply swanning through the airport?'," said Ms O'Reilly.

However, Mr Burke said that scoping work was being done last year.

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