Thursday, May 6, 2021

Ireland’s Hotel Quarantine Approach Seen as Overly Strict, French Ambassador Claims

The French ambassador to Ireland, Vincent Guérend, has said that the mandatory hotel quarantine system of Ireland is overly strict and restricts people from travelling for exceptional reasons.

According to the ambassador, the French embassy has accepted numerous hopeless calls from the French community in Ireland during the last weeks, as many of them need to travel to France for medical reasons, including cancer and cardiac care.

Furthermore, the ambassador revealed that there are around 30,000 French nationals who legally reside in Ireland, who, due to the mandatory hotel quarantine, are being prevented from commuting freely between the two countries.

“We’re not speaking for normal travel, it’s not business as usual, people go for really compelling reasons, for severe medical treatment, for cancer, for heart disease and we believe the mandatory hotel quarantine prevents almost all travelling and that the exception mechanism is really insufficient,” Guérend said.

In addition, the ambassador urged for the measures to be lifted within weeks in order to allow travellers to enter the country for exceptional purposes, reports.

Currently, Ireland is the only Member State of the European Union that still keeps in place extensive quarantine measures for travellers from other EU countries.

As a result, the European Commission has reacted against Ireland’s restrictions and pointed out that the country’s quarantine rules are not in accordance with the EU laws as they affect free movement for European citizens.

Moreover, the Commission urged Ireland to rethink the decision of imposing a ten-day mandatory hotel quarantine measure to arrivals from Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, and Luxembourg, as these countries do not have the highest Coronavirus infection rates among other EU countries to be subjected to such restrictions.

The Government of Ireland has also been encouraged to adopt the EU plans to establish the “EU COVID-19 Certificate” so the travel within the bloc as well as international travel can be resumed at the earliest possible date.

The latest figures have revealed that around 30 per cent of Ireland’s population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Department of Health also confirmed that as of May 3, more than 1.6 million doses of the vaccine had been administered, bringing the total number of doses that have been delivered in the country to over 2.1 million.

To date, Ireland supplied 1.3 million doses of Pfizer, 566,000 doses of AstraZeneca, 186,000 doses of Moderna, and 26,400 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

On the other hand, since the beginning of the pandemic, the country has registered a total of 251,087 Coronavirus cases, 4,915 deaths, and it currently numbers 12,621 active cases.

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