Woman escorted into mandatory quarantine hotel after refusing to leave bus

Passengers arriving from Covid-19 high-risk countries have to book 12-day hotel stay

A bus from Dublin Airport  arriving at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry where arrivals are undergoing mandatory hotel quarantine. Photograph: Ronan McGreevy

A bus from Dublin Airport arriving at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry where arrivals are undergoing mandatory hotel quarantine. Photograph: Ronan McGreevy

 

A woman was escorted into the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry, Dublin by security guards on Friday after she refused to leave a bus carrying air passengers entering the Covid-19 mandatory hotel quarantine system.

Passengers arriving into the State from 33 “high-risk” countries must now spend up to 14 days in one of four designated hotels before they can travel on to their destination.

About a dozen people arrived at the Crowne Plaza Hotel after a flight from Dubai landed at Dublin Airport at 11.10am.

The woman who refused to leave the bus was visibly distressed and called out to waiting reporters as she was being led inside by security staff. She said she was entited to live in Ireland and did not need to quarantine.

The countries that have been deemed “high-risk” because of the spread of variants of Covid-19 includes many in South America and Africa as well as the United Arab Emirates and Austria.

The quarantine period can be reduced if a passenger returns a negative result when they are tested for Covid-19 after 10 days in the system.

The cost for an adult from a high-risk country is €1,875 for 12 nights, €625 for a second person over the age of 12 who shares the room, and €36 for children aged four to 12.

The quarantine period may be extended if a passenger tests positive during their stay but the State will pay for any extension beyond 12 days.

The online booking portal for quarantine packages went live this week and as of Friday morning 76 people had made bookings. Of those, 37 are due to arrive in the country in the remaining days in March, 33 in April, and six in May, a Department of Health spokeswoman said.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has designated the Crowne Plaza in Santry, the Holiday Inn Express in Santry, Clontarf Castle and the Hard Rock Hotel on Exchange Street Upper for use in the system.

Hotels will be assigned at random and the guests will have to stay in their rooms, except for strictly controlled smoking and exercise breaks. They will have access to WiFi and an entertainment sytem.

People can be fined as much as €2,500 and/or sentenced to six months in prison if they do not fulfill their mandatory hotel quarantine.

The new quarantine rules also apply to any passenger who arrives from any country without a negative Covid-19 PCR test carried out no more than 72 hours before they landed. Those passengers will have to pay a day rate of €150.