Health Minister removes five countries from mandatory hotel quarantine list

Arrivals from the five countries however must still continue to present a negative Covid-19 test completed before departure and observe self-isolate at home for 14 days. 
Health Minister removes five countries from mandatory hotel quarantine list

Members of the Defence Forces have been escorting international arrivals into hotel quarantine. Picture: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has removed five countries from the mandatory hotel quarantine (MHQ) list this afternoon. 

Bermuda, Iran, Montenegro, Palestine and Serbia are the five countries that have been removed in the latest update.  

The change signifies the locations are no longer considered "high risk" by health authorities. 

Arrivals from the five countries however must still continue to present a negative Covid-19 test completed before departure and observe self-isolation at home for 14 days. 

Since MHQ has been introduced on March 26, no variants of concern have been reported in the country according to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC). 

HPSC data reveals the number of cases of the Brazilian and South African strains peaked at around 30 at the end of March.

There are growing calls however to review the quarantine system after the European Union (EU) continues to make progress on the introduction of the EU's digital travel cert. 

Optimistic signs for international travel and the resumption of tourism have been growing this summer as vaccination rates continue to improve across Europe. 

Portugal has confirmed it will welcome travellers from most European countries from Monday, including for non-essential visits.

Tourists must be from an EU country that has a Covid-19 rate of below 500 cases per 100,000 population.

Ireland's 14-day incidence rate as of Thursday is 129.3 per 100,000 people.

A significant number of countries remain on Ireland's MHQ list however including three within the EU, Belgium, France, and Luxembourg. 

Georgia, Andorra, and Turkey also remain on the mandatory hotel quarantine list. 

Other notable countries remaining on the list include: 

  • America
  • Nigeria
  • India
  • Qatar
  • United Arab Emirates
  • The Philippines
  • Canada
  • Argentina
  • Brazil

A full list of the states that remain on the mandatory hotel quarantine list is available online here at the Department of Taoiseach's website..

Since the introduction of the MHQ system, a number of revisions have been introduced for exemptions after multiple legal challenges. 

Diplomatic criticism has also been common with EU member's critical of the system's impact on the bloc's freedom of movement for EU citizens, a key provision of EU membership. 

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