The Health Minister has announced the removal of all remaining states from the Government’s Mandatory Hotel Quarantine (MHQ) list.
he Department of Health has confirmed that the decision, which comes into effect from today, is based on the latest advice from the Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan.
It says the MHQ system has been scaled down progressively over recent months in line with the Government’s revised approach to international travel, the success of Ireland’s vaccine roll-out and the evolution of the pandemic internationally.
The Department says travellers must still abide by the relevant travel regulations as set out in the Travel to the State Regulations, including the requirement to have a pre-travel PCR test unless in possession of proof of vaccination or recovery, and the requirements relating to home-based quarantine.
Travellers are also required to complete a Passenger Locator Form prior to their arrival to Ireland.
Mandatory Hotel Quarantine was introduced in Ireland earlier this year to help stop the spread of Covid-19.
Since it first began on March 26th;
- 10,294 people stayed in MHQ
- 593 residents tested positive for Covid-19
- 3,426 appeals to leave the system were lodged and 526 were granted
- 8 hotels were used at the system’s peak
The latest revision of the quarantine system was completed in August with the minister removing Russia, South Africa, India, Bangladesh, Botswana, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Fiji, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Pakistan, Paraguay, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, Uruguay, and Zimbabwe from the list.
Speaking on today’s announcement Minister Stephen Donnelly said: “The Mandatory Hotel Quarantine system was introduced as an exceptional public health measure at a time that our country was contending with the very serious risk of importation of variants of concern that had the potential to overwhelm our health service and, in particular, to undermine Ireland’s COVID-19 Vaccination programme.
“At the peak of the system’s operation some 60 states were designated and the greatest number of persons in MHQ at one time reached 1,008 on 9 May 2021. The successful operation of MHQ has played a central role in protecting the population, maintaining control of the disease and enabling the safe relaxation of restrictions on our economy and society.
“Finally, I would like to thank the over 10,000 people who completed their period of quarantine in a designated facility and the many thousands more who completed home quarantine in order to protect themselves and their loved ones from the risk of severe illness and death from Covid-19,” he said.
The scheme experienced numerous issues in its early days, with people absconding, complaints about conditions and the sick and bereaved appealing for leniency.
Visit our Covid-19 vaccine dashboard for updates on the roll out of the vaccination program and the rate of Coronavirus cases Ireland