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Fully vaccinated travellers to be exempt from hotel quarantine, says minister

Stephen Donnelly made the announcement on Thursday evening.

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Travellers leave a bus outside the Crowne Plaza hotel, near Dublin Airport, where they will stay during a mandatory 12-day quarantine after arriving from one of 33 high risk countries (Brian Lawless/PA)

Travellers leave a bus outside the Crowne Plaza hotel, near Dublin Airport, where they will stay during a mandatory 12-day quarantine after arriving from one of 33 high risk countries (Brian Lawless/PA)

Travellers leave a bus outside the Crowne Plaza hotel, near Dublin Airport, where they will stay during a mandatory 12-day quarantine after arriving from one of 33 high risk countries (Brian Lawless/PA)

People who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 are to be exempted from mandatory hotel quarantine, the health minister has confirmed.

Stephen Donnelly said legal regulations will be required to enact the decision.

“The Government decision last week was for a rapid review to be conducted. I have now received advice from the Acting Chief Medical Officer, which I have accepted,” he said.

“Legal regulations will now be required to exempt fully vaccinated people from Mandatory Hotel Quarantine and allow them complete home quarantine.

“These regulations will be drafted and signed in the coming days.”

The scheme has been criticised in recent days after the Government was forced to pause the booking system because of capacity issues.

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Mr Donnelly said that following “intensive work”, the Department of Health and Tifco Hotel Group have achieved an increase in capacity on the system, which will come on line from Saturday April 17.

The online booking portal for reservations will reopen from late on Thursday, allowing people due to arrive from designated states from Saturday to pre-book mandatory hotel quarantine.

“Our system of mandatory hotel quarantine is working as intended to protect the country from the importation of Covid-19, particularly variants of concern,” he said.

“To date, 18 people in mandatory hotel quarantine have tested positive for Covid-19, of which four involve probable variants of concern.

“I am very grateful to those that have entered mandatory quarantine for playing their part to stop the spread of this disease.”

The State’s quarantine system was extended on Thursday to include the US, Belgium, France and Italy.


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