Cabinet to debate legislation for mandatory hotel quarantine

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Legislation to allow for mandatory hotel quarantine for some people arriving into the country will go before the Cabinet today.

Plans for the legislation had been announced a number of weeks ago, however it has taken some time to draft and will now be considered by Ministers later today.

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The legislation will mean anyone who arrives from one of the 20 countries on the high-risk list will be required to quarantine at their own expense in a State nominated hotel, which will be policed by private security, and the Government will be able to add countries to the quarantine list as needed.

It is expected the bill for the mandatory hotel quarantine will be approximately €2,000 per adult.

Among the countries included on the quarantine list at present are Brazil, South Africa, Austria, the UAE and many sub-Saharan African countries, due to fears about new variants.

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Hotel quarantine will also apply to people who arrive in the State from other countries without a negative PCR test and refuse to take one.

The Cabinet is also expected to consider legislation that will increase fines for going on holiday from €500 to €2,000 in an effort to clamp down on unnecessary journeys.

According to a report published by the Health Protection and Surveillance Centre (HPSC), travel was thought to be the most likely transmission source of 76 confirmed cases of Covid-19 during the two-week period to February 14th.

An update on the Leaving Cert is also expected to be made to the Cabinet, however no announcement is expected to be made on the matter until later this week.

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