Another 18 states added to Government’s list of ‘high risk countries’

Austria among states that will require passegers to quarantine for 14 days on entry

Airplanes pictured at  Dublin Airport earlier this week.  Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Airplanes pictured at Dublin Airport earlier this week. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

 

An additional 18 states have been added to the Government’s list of “high risk countries” that require passengers to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival into the Republic.

South Africa and Brazil were already on the list of high risk counties and on Friday the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly added: Angola, Austria, Botswana, Burundi, Cape Verde, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Eswatini, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Passengers arriving from these countries must now complete a mandatory 14-day period of self-quarantine.

T he Government will shortly consider legislation that will require such passengers arriving into the State to complete this quarantine at a designated facility.

Minister Donnelly on Friday said “Under the current Level 5 restrictions nobody should be engaging in non-essential travel at this time. These stringent measures on people arriving to Ireland from 20 states are necessary in responding to the risks posed by variants of concern.

“People who arrive in Ireland must now complete a full mandatory 14-day period of self-quarantine if they have been in any of these states in the previous 14 days.”

Holidays

Meanwhile, new figures have revealed that 10,601 Irish residents have arrived back into the State from a holiday or visit abroad since late January.

According to figures provided by the Department of Justice, the number of passengers arriving back into the State from a holiday represents 65 per cent of all foreign travel since January 26th.

Furthermore, some 280 people have arrived into Dublin Airport without a valid PCR test. The Director of Public Prosecutions is understood to be preparing files on each case.

The Government is also currently considering proposals to introduce mandatory State quarantine for passengers without a valid test although this is just considered a “possibility” at present.

According to the new statistics, more than 3,000 Irish residents said they had travelled to visit a sick relative, for a medical reason or for a funeral.

Senior officials are also considering whether this group should be subject to mandatory hotel quarantine if they have returned from one of the specified high-risk countries.

Amongst the reasons that non-residents gave for travelling into the State between January 26th and February 10th, 2,059 passengers said they were holidaying while 1,248 said they were transiting to Northern Ireland.

The top five countries that all passengers had departed from were Great Britain, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, Poland and Romania.

Separate figures supplied by the Department of Transport show that since January 4th, nearly 4,000 passengers arrived through Dublin airport from the United Arab Emirates.