Today, 25/09/2021, the Mandatory Hotel Quarantine system has officially ended with the last 50 people released with immediate effect. The Government had been phasing out the system and the most recent list consisted of just six countries, all from South America.
Mandatory Hotel Quarantine was introduced in Ireland in late March to help stop the spread of Covid-19. In its early days, it was beset by problems, with people absconding, complaints about conditions and the sick and bereaved appealing for leniency. Exemptions for the fully vaccinated and those travelling for medical reasons followed.
Around 10,300 people were required to enter mandatory hotel quarantine since March and at its height, 60 countries were on the list including France, Germany and the US. Since then, 593 residents have tested positive for Covid-19. In the past month, 98 people entered MHQ in Ireland, according to Government figures.
The decision to end the system was made on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan. It is understood that the dominance of the Delta variant in Ireland and elsewhere meant there were no remaining variants of concern that could be stopped from taking hold by requesting travellers to quarantine in hotels.
A Government source said the system was always designed to be short term and contracts with hotels were due to expire at the end of this month. Those who arrive in Ireland without proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test will now be told to home quarantine.
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