India and Iran set to be added to mandatory hotel quarantine list

Travellers arriving into State from countries on list must spend at least 12 days in hotel

People arriving on bus from Dublin Airport to Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry, the State’s first hotel quarantine centre. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

People arriving on bus from Dublin Airport to Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry, the State’s first hotel quarantine centre. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

The Government is set to approve the addition of India, which is in the midst of a devastating surge of Covid infection, to the mandatory hotel quarantine list, alongside Iran.

Under proposals being considered by the Department of Health, travellers arriving into the State from these countries will be forced to spend at least 12 days in a designated hotel.

Mr Donnelly does not need Cabinet approval to take the step, but it is thought he will nonetheless inform Cabinet colleagues of his intention to expand the list again this morning. Sources indicated several other countries, including Mongolia, may also be included on an expanded list.

Costa Rica and Georgia will also be added to the hotel quarantine list.

At present there are 71 countries on the Government’s list of designated states deemed to be a high risk for Covid-19 or its variants. It includes several in Africa, South America and Asia but also the United States, Canada and some in Europe. These include France, Italy and Belgium.

Passengers from those countries that do not fall into exempted categories must quarantine in hotels upon arrival in the Republic.

India has reported more than 300,000 cases of Covid-19 for the sixth successive day, in a crisis the WHO has described as “beyond heartbreaking”.

The Indian ambassador to Ireland expressed gratitude for Ireland’s “gesture of solidarity” in sending oxygen supplies to India but warned that his country was in a “grave” situation and still in need of further support.