| 10.8°C Dublin

Quarantine restrictions for international travellers to be eased in coming weeks

Anyone from ‘red’ nations will be able to move freely in Ireland if they provide a negative test five days after their arrival.

Close

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan said a new system that allows travellers arriving into Ireland from “red” list countries to reduce their quarantine period is to come into force in the coming weeks (PA)

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan said a new system that allows travellers arriving into Ireland from “red” list countries to reduce their quarantine period is to come into force in the coming weeks (PA)

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan said a new system that allows travellers arriving into Ireland from “red” list countries to reduce their quarantine period is to come into force in the coming weeks (PA)

A new system that allows travellers arriving in Ireland from “red” list countries to limit the number of days they spend in self-isolation is to come into force in the coming weeks.

The scheme, which is part of the EU traffic light system, will mean travellers have to take a Covid-19 test before they travel.

The Government said last week that from this Sunday, travellers from “orange” regions will not have to restrict their movements if they have a negative Covid-19 test result up to three days before arrival.

EU regions currently listed as orange by the European Centre for Disease Control include Norway, Finland, Latvia, Greece and the Canary Islands.

Changes for “green” regions have already been made, which means people arriving into Ireland from those countries do not have to restrict their movement for 14 days.

Close

Changes are being brought in to quarantine restrictions when travelling to Ireland (PA)

Changes are being brought in to quarantine restrictions when travelling to Ireland (PA)

Changes are being brought in to quarantine restrictions when travelling to Ireland (PA)

People from “red” regions will not have to restrict their movements following a negative result from an approved Covid-19 test taken five days after arrival in Ireland. That change is likely to come in within weeks.

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said a cross-departmental working group will report to Government on November 10 with a plan to establish approved Covid-19 tests for international arrivals.

He told an Oireachtas Committee that any such tests should not interfere with HSE testing capacity.

Mr Ryan also said the test will be the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).

He said: “The further application of such testing regime in this country requires, first, that we can be certain there is the testing capacity that doesn’t infringe the HSE ability to use PCR test in their management.

“I am confident that will be done quickly. I expect the private sector to provide potentially a variety of different sources, including at the airports, but it may be beneficial to have such tests away from the airport.

“It is to make travel safer and improve health public health outcome.”

Green regions are based on a 14-day notification rate lower than 25 cases per 100,000 and a test positivity rate below 4%.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

Orange regions are based on a 14-day notification rate lower than 50 cases per 100,000.

The red regions are based on a 14-day notification rate of 50 cases per 100,000 or higher.

Asked when the testing system will be in place for red countries, Mr Ryan said “within a short number of weeks”.

It gives people who have to travel - essential travel - the option of not having to restrict their movements for two weeksEamon Ryan, Transport Minister

He added: “It will be operated on a voluntary basis so it will be opt-in, so not every single passenger will have to do that.

Committee chairman Kieran O’Donnell queried how a voluntary system would work.

“How can you have the scheme, where you are looking to reduce risk, and you are leaving it up to passengers to decide if they want to take a test or not?” he said.

“How would that reduce the risk of people coming into Ireland?”

Mr Ryan said the State’s current approach is based on compliance.

“The advice is clear but that is something we seek in public support,” he added. “The health sense behind this, you would restrict your movements for five days, the chance of the patient being asymptomatic at early stages would be reduced by the delay.

“It gives people who have to travel – essential travel – the option of not having to restrict their movements for two weeks. They will have to pay for the test, the State is not covering the cost.”

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Privacy