The Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has confirmed changes to the home quarantine requirement for passengers arriving in the Republic of Ireland from Britain following Cabinet’s approval of the measures on Tuesday.
Due to concerns regarding the Delta variant, which is now the dominant strain in the UK, arrivals who are not fully vaccinated must quarantine at home for at least 10 days, with a second day-10 PCR test being offered free of charge, in addition to the existing day-five test.
If both the day-five and day-10 tests return negative/non-detected, passengers may finish quarantining.
For those arriving from Britain who are fully vaccinated, they will be required to quarantine at home for at least five days, after which a negative/non-detected PCR result will allow them to end their quarantine period.
A statement from the Department of Health reiterated Government advice against all but essential international travel, with all passengers entering the country from non-designated states requiring proof of a negative/non-detected PCR test, followed by 14 days of home quarantine, which they can ‘test-out’ of on day five (day 10 in the case of unvaccinated arrivals from Britain).
PCR tests, which can be booked in advance on the HSE website, are being offered free of charge to international arrivals, while tests can also be accessed via any of the HSE’s walk-in testing centres around the country.
Confirming the changes for unvaccinated arrivals from Britain, Mr Donnelly said: “At the moment, variants of concern continue to pose significant risks to public health and there is a specific concern around the Delta variant.”
The statement added the HSE has also put enhanced contact tracing measures in place for all detected positive cases of Covid-19 “with a travel history extending back 14 days and their close contacts”.
“Enhanced public health measures and investigations are also being implemented from all positive detections upon notification of a “probable” result to ensure that all efforts to trace and contain transmission for any case which has a suspicion of being a variant of concern are taken,” the statement concluded.