covid rule breach | 

Two women arrested after refusing to go to quarantine hotel on return from Dubai cosmetic surgery trip

The women - understood to be Dubliners - had disembarked from a flight from Dubai where it is understood they had travelled for cosmetic surgery.
Ken Foy and Robin Schiller

Two women are due to appear in court tomorrow morning after they were arrested at Dublin Airport today when they refused to go to a quarantine hotel.

The women -aged in their 30s and understood to be Dubliners - had disembarked from a flight from Dubai where it is understood they had travelled for cosmetic surgery.

“Defence Forces personnel at the airport had informed these ladies that they were legally obliged to go to a quarantine hotel but they simply refused and the gardai were called,” a senior source said.

“The women stuck to their convictions when gardai arrived and they ended up getting arrested.

“They are due to be brought before court in the morning and what is very possible is that they may have to go to the quarantine hotel after that appearance as well as possibly getting a significant fine,” the source added.

Gardai confirmed details of the arrests in a statement.

An Garda Siochana were called to an incident in Dublin Airport this afternoon 02/04/2021, by the State Liaison officer,” a garda spokesman said.

“Gardaí implemented the 4Es approach – engaging, explaining, and encouraging with enforcement a last resort.

“After failing to comply with Gardaí two women, aged in their 30s, were arrested for breaches of the Health Act and taken to Ballymun Garda Station.

“Both women have since been charged. They are due to appear before the Criminal Courts of Justice, Court 2, tomorrow at 10.30am,” the spokesman added.

Travellers currently arriving from 33 countries deemed high risk by the Government must quarantine for 12 nights at a designated hotel.

The Government is adding 26 states to its mandatory hotel quarantine list but no further European Union countries are included.

From 4am next Tuesday, 6 April, people arriving in Ireland from these countries and territories must pre-book accommodation for 12 nights mandatory hotel quarantine on arrival and pay for the stay.

The announcement brings to 59 the number of countries and territories deemed high risk by the Government.

The new quarantine rules also apply to any passenger who arrives from any other country without a negative PCR test for Covid-19 carried out no more than 72 hours before they arrive in Ireland.

The Department of Health is in charge of the mandatory quarantine system and the Defence Forces provide a security oversight at airports and hotels with private security guards then operating at the hotels.

However neither army personnel or the security guards have the legal power to stop people leaving the hotels which is a criminal offence that can attract a fine of up to €2,000 or a month in jail.

A 12-night stay in hotel quarantine costs €1,875 per adult, €625 for a second person over the age of 12 who shares the room, and €36 for children aged four to 12.

The countries that have been deemed "high-risk" because of the spread of variants of Covid-19 includes most SouthAmerica countries, a number of African nations as well as the United Arab Emirates and Austria.

Health Minister 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.

Earlier this week we revealed that senior sources described the role assigned to gardai in policing breaches of Covid-19 quarantining rules at designated hotels as “absolutely farcical”.

Disquiet among officers is growing after it emerged that gardai had to engage in a manhunt for three people who left mandatory quarantine on Saturday at a Dublin hotel without authorisation armed with only the name given by each person and a phone number provided by them.

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