Updated 1 hour ago
PEOPLE WHO AREN’T fully vaccinated and are travelling from Britain to Ireland will have to self-quarantine for 14 days after they arrive, Cabinet has agreed.
The new travel restrictions take effect immediately. The 14-day self-quarantine is a legal requirement, even if the person has travelled into Ireland via Northern Ireland.
This period can be reduced to 10 days, if they receive two negative PCR tests taken on day 5 and day 10 after arriving in Ireland. These tests can be availed of free of charge.
Fully vaccinated people who are travelling from Britain to Ireland will still have to self-quarantine for five days, and if they test negative for Covid-19 through PCR testing on their fifth day since their arrival, their quarantine period will end.
It had been expected that fully vaccinated people travelling from Britain wouldn’t need to quarantine at all upon arrival in Ireland – however, Cabinet agreed to require them to self-quarantine for at least five days.
At present, passengers arriving here from Britain are requested to quarantine at a home address for 14 days, but can end this self-quarantine with a negative Covid-19 PCR test result after five days. This now only applies to fully vaccinated people from GB.
Minister for Higher and Further Education Simon Harris had said earlier today that there needed to be a visible “bonus” from being vaccinated, and a trust in their effect in reducing both severe illness and transmission from Covid-19.
Self-quarantine does not take place at a designated hotel, and can be at the person’s home or where they are staying during their visit.
There is no change to how quarantine at home is enforced, which currently involves reminder texts, phone calls and Garda checks to ask if travellers are self-quarantining at the address they gave.
It is understood that Cabinet did not discuss introducing mandatory hotel quarantine as a requirement for those travelling to Ireland from Britain.
The Delta variant
Though Covid-19 figures in Ireland don’t show widespread transmission of the Delta variant, first detected in India, the government is concerned at the highly transmissible Covid variant’s potential to lead to a surge.
At Cabinet today, ministers were told that 56% of the Irish adult population have received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, and 25% have received the second dose.
In the space of a week, up until Monday 13 June, 2,270 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported, which was a drop of 21.3% on the previous week.
There are currently nine counties in Ireland with Covid-19 cases above 100 per 100,000 of the population.
The number of Delta variant cases in Ireland has increased to 139. In Northern Ireland, 111 probable and confirmed cases of the variant were detected up to last week.
In a statement this evening, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said: “At the moment, variants of concern continue to pose significant risks to public health, and there is a specific concern around the Delta variant.
“Non-essential travel should continue to be avoided, however, if you must travel to Ireland from Great Britain then you should follow the public health advice relating to home quarantine and you are advised to avail of the free day 5 and day 10 PCR testing.
Last week, I launched a booking portal that allows anyone travelling to Ireland book a PCR test for no less than 5 days after arrival to Ireland. Those travelling from Great Britain who have not been fully vaccinated, are now advised to arrange a test for day 5 and for day 10. If you receive a non-detected result from both your day 5 and day 10 tests it is safe to cease your home quarantine.
Speaking on his way into Cabinet this morning, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that the Government was continuing to monitor the Delta variant of Covid-19.
The move comes as British officials have delayed the reopening of their society for four weeks. The…