Health Minister adds 13 new states to ‘high-risk’ list


The Minister for Health has confirmed that 13 new states will be added to the Government’s list of “high-risk” countries for travel into the State.

On Thursday, the Dáil voted to pass new laws to enforce mandatory hotel quarantine for people coming into Ireland from high-risk countries.

Passengers arriving from the list of countries will have to quarantine for a 14-day period in a hotel chosen by the State upon entering the country.

This evening, Minister Stephen Donnelly confirmed that 13 additional states would be added to the list of some 20 countries, namely: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Minister Donnelly said the aim of the measure was to protect the population from challenges posed by new variants of concern.

“The Government continues to advise against all non-essential international travel at this time and a range of measures is in place to reinforce this policy. If you travel to Ireland from any of the high-risk countries, you must complete a full 14-day quarantine period,” he said.

The measure applies to all passengers from designated states, “regardless of nationality”, he added.

“I brought legislation to the Dáil this week to bring in mandatory quarantine in a designated facility.

“Once the Bill has passed through all stages in the Oireachtas, it will be referred to the President for his consideration.

“Subject to the Bill becoming law, it is the Government’s intention to commence the operation of mandatory quarantine facilities as soon as possible.”

A National Oversight Group for Variants of Concern (VOCS) has been established to monitor and advise upon the challenges posed by variants of concern, the Minister added.

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