France, Italy, US, and Canada among 16 countries to be added to hotel quarantine list

A number of states, including the world's vaccination leader Israel, to be taken off the list
France, Italy, US, and Canada among 16 countries to be added to hotel quarantine list

A traveller enters the Crowne Plaza hotel, Santry, near Dublin Airport, where she will stay during a mandatory 12-day quarantine. Picture: PA

France, Italy, the US, and Canada are among 16 countries being added to the hotel quarantining list by the Government tonight. 

Home quarantining is also to be strengthened, which means a person entering the country with a negative PCR test will also have to book their five-day test before arrival. 

Ministers are holding an incorporeal Cabinet meeting to sign off on the additional countries. A number of states, including the world's vaccination leader Israel, will also be taken off the list.

Although Germany had been previously flagged by public health experts, it is not among the countries that will be added to the list as the level of variant is now not deemed to be of concern.

Travellers coming from the 16 countries added to the list will be required to enter mandatory quarantine from next Thursday.

There are currently 654 rooms available for hotel quarantining, however it is planned to double this in the coming weeks. 

Israel, Albania, and St Lucia, are to be removed from the list, however, those currently in mandatory quarantine from these three countries will have to finish out the full period and will not be permitted to leave their hotel accommodation early.

It comes after days of discussions by senior officials across a number of departments including Health, Foreign Affairs and Transport.

A row between the Health Minister Stephen Donnelly and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney broke out last week after public health officials recommended 43 countries be added to the list.

While Mr Donnelly wanted to press ahead, it is understood Mr Coveney said he did not believe the practice should be implemented for countries where large numbers of Irish people live.

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