Ireland’s mandatory COVID-19 quarantine regime enters into force

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DUBLIN, March 26 (Xinhua) — As of Friday, all travelers arriving in Ireland from 33 countries and regions deemed “high risk” for COVID-19 transmission will have to complete a 14-day mandatory quarantine at a designated facility, according to the Irish government’s previously announced decision.

The 33 countries and regions include 17 in Africa, 14 in South America as well as Austria in Europe and the United Arab Emirates in Asia, according to a guidance published on the Irish government’s website.

The list of high-risk countries and regions, which is subject to change at short notice, can be found on various websites of the Irish authorities, including the Department of Foreign Affairs, said the guidance.

Travelers from high-risk areas must pre-book their rooms at the government-designated facilities and pre-pay for their accommodation and food online, it said, adding that the standard charge for an adult for the 14-day quarantine is 1,875 euros (2,211 U.S. dollars).

Those who do not arrive from high-risk areas but fail to provide a negative COVID-19 test result based on a sample collected no more than 72 hours before arrival in Ireland will also have to be quarantined for 14 days.

The first batch of hotels designated by the Irish government for the purpose of mandatory quarantine are all located in Dublin, including two nearby Dublin Airport and two in the city center, with more hotels to be designated if needed.

The Irish Times, a major daily newspaper in Ireland, quoted public health officials as saying that as of Friday morning a total of 69 people had made bookings at designated hotels. Of them, 32 are due to arrive in the country before the end of March.

Diplomats, aircrew and maritime crew, among others, can be exempted from the 14-day mandatory hotel quarantine if they can meet other public health requirements of the Irish government.

Those who refuse to be quarantined or leave the designated hotels for mandatory quarantine earlier than they should will face a fine of 2,000 euros or one month in prison — or both.

The Irish Department of Health on Thursday night said that over 230,000 people had been infected with COVID-19 in Ireland since the outbreak of the pandemic in early 2020 and to date, nearly 4,700 people have died from the virus.

The department also said that as of March 22, a total of 690,449 COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered in Ireland and over 186,000 people had been fully vaccinated, accounting for about four percent of the country’s population.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in an increasing number of countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.

Meanwhile, 267 candidate vaccines are still being developed — 83 of them in clinical trials — in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization on March 23. (1 euro = 1.18 U.S. dollars) Enditem

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