A man walks past graffiti of a Frankenstein wearing a protective mask on a door amid the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, in Galway, Ireland. – Reuters file
Dublin – The Department of Health said that in the past six months nearly 10,300 people have gone through mandatory hotel quarantine
Ireland on Saturday halted its mandatory hotel quarantine system for travelers arriving in the country, as coronavirus brakes continue to drop in the Republic.
As of the end of March, travelers arriving from a government list of “designated states” have been subject to a mandatory two-week quarantine in hotels.
On Saturday, the Irish government said Health Minister Stephen Donnelly “announced the removal of all remaining states from the list of states designated for mandatory hotel quarantine as of today.”
In a statement, the health ministry said the decision was “based on the latest advice received from the chief medical officer.”
In addition to arrivals from “designated states” with high rates of Covid-19, travelers who have not complied with entry requirements such as negative PCR tests have also been subjected to around 40 hotels since March. .
The health ministry said that in the past six months, nearly 10,300 people have been under mandatory quarantine in hotels.
Nearly 600 of them tested positive during their stay, the ministry said.
Donnelly said that at its peak, the system encompassed travelers arriving from some 60 “designated states,” peaking with more than 1,000 inmates in quarantine in early May.
He said the mandatory quarantine “was introduced as an exceptional public health measure at a time when our country faced the very serious risk of importing worrying variants.”
It “has played a central role in protecting the population, maintaining disease control and safely easing restrictions on our economy and society,” he added in a statement.
The coronavirus has killed 5,209 in the Republic of Ireland according to the latest official figures.
But most of the pandemic brakes have now been lifted in this country of five million people.
Dublin dropped the long-held advice that employees should work from home on Monday.
The reopening of the company was facilitated by a very high vaccination rate, with over 90% of adults now fully vaccinated.