Ireland to add more nations to high-risk list

A man walks his dog near a closed bar, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, Dublin, Ireland

Irish Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said that “a lot more countries” will be added to the government’s list that requires incoming passengers to stay in mandatory hotel quarantine.

Varadkar made the remarks on Thursday while briefing members of the lower house of the Irish Parliament about the Covid-19 situation in the country, we quoted the RTE broadcaster as saying in a report.

Mandatory hotel quarantine is one of the latest measures taken by the Irish government to battle the pandemic that has so far claimed nearly 4,700 lives in the country since its outbreak in early 2020.

Under the measure, which will take effect at 4 a.m. on Friday, all those who arrive in Ireland from high-risk countries and regions listed by the Irish government will have to face a 14-day quarantine at a designated hotel at the cost of their own for accommodation and food.

Currently, a total of 33 countries and regions, mostly from Africa and South America, are placed on the high-risk list.

Diplomats, aircrew and marine crew are among those who can be exempted from such a quarantine so long they can meet the other public health requirements of Ireland, according to a guidance issued on the government’s website.

The high-risk list is subject to change at short notice, said the guidance, adding that those who come from high-risk areas will have to pre-book their rooms at government-designated quarantine hotels and pre-pay for their stay.

Violators of mandatory hotel quarantine rules could face a fine of 2,000 euros ($2,355) or one-month imprisonment, or both, according to local media reports.

Ireland has reported a total of 232,758 coronavirus cases, while the death toll stood at 4,631.

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