All remaining states removed from mandatory hotel quarantine list, Minister for Health confirms

At the peak of system’s operation some 60 states were designated, Donnelly says

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said the greatest number of persons in mandatory hotel quarantine at one time reached 1,008 on May 9th.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said the greatest number of persons in mandatory hotel quarantine at one time reached 1,008 on May 9th.

 

All remaining states have been removed from the list for mandatory hotel quarantine (MHQ), Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has announced.

The change in State policy is effective from Saturday and is based on the latest advice received from Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan.

The MHQ system has been scaled down progressively over recent months as the designation of a large number of states has been revoked.

These revocations have been in line with the Government’s revised approach to international travel, the success of Ireland’s vaccine roll-out and the evolution of the pandemic internationally.

“The mandatory hotel quarantine system was introduced as an exceptional public health measure at a time that our country was contending with the very serious risk of importation of variants of concern that had the potential to overwhelm our health service and, in particular, to undermine Ireland’s Covid-19 vaccination programme,” said Mr Donnelly.

“The logistics involved with the implementation of this system were many and complex. The policy was led by officials in my own department with significant support and input from officials across a number of departments and State bodies.”

Notwithstanding the scaling down of the system, travellers must still abide by the relevant travel regulations.

These include the requirement to have a pre-travel PCR test unless in possession of proof of vaccination or recovery, and the requirements relating to home-based quarantine. Travellers are also required to complete a passenger locator form prior to their arrival to Ireland.

MHQ commenced on March 26th, 2021. Since that time, more than 10,000 people have completed a period of quarantine at a designated facility. Eight hotels were used at peak where almost 600 residents tested positive for Covid-19.

Mr Donnelly said on Saturday: “I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all of those who worked diligently to ensure the system operated smoothly and provided an appropriate level of care to those completing their period of quarantine.

“At the peak of the system’s operation some 60 states were designated and the greatest number of persons in mandatory hotel quarantine at one time reached 1,008 on May 9th.

“The successful operation of mandatory hotel quarantine has played a central role in protecting the population, maintaining control of the disease and enabling the safe relaxation of restrictions on our economy and society.

“Finally, I would like to thank the over 10,000 people who completed their period of quarantine in a designated facility and the many thousands more who completed home quarantine in order to protect themselves and their loved ones from the risk of severe illness and death from Covid-19.”

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