The Government should cover the €1,850 cost of mandatory hotel quarantine for Erasmus students returning to Ireland, Ireland South MEP Billy Kelleher has said.
“Erasmus students went abroad last September, supported by their educational institutions, and in many situations, funded by the Irish State, in good faith,” The Fianna Fáil MEP said.
Some 850 Irish students are currently abroad on Erasmus.
However, not all of them would be required to quarantine in a hotel, Mr Kelleher said, "so the cost to the State would be negligible.”
The standard rate for one adult staying in one room for 12 nights of mandatory hotel quarantine is €1,875.
Kelleher was commenting after receiving representations from his party’s youth organisation, Ógra Fianna Fáil, requesting support for students on official Erasmus programmes.
“Ógra has suggested that the students’ sending institution i.e. their IT or university should pay the hotel bill up front, and then receive a refund from the Department of Higher Education.”
“There is, I believe, significant merit in their proposal and it warrants discussion at government level.”
Yesterday, a number of EU countries including France, Belgium and Italy, were added to the mandatory hotel quarantine list following a Cabinet meeting.
Any arrival who fails to adhere to mandatory quarantine rules could be fined as much as €4,000 and face up to a month in prison.