People arriving in Ireland from the UK will have to self-isolate for at least five days, the Irish government has confirmed.

Those who are fully vaccinated will have to undergo quarantine for five days and un-vaccinated people for 10 days, under plans signed off by the Cabinet on Tuesday.

The tighter rules, introduced on the back of increasing concerns around the Delta variant of Covid-19, first identified in India, have taken immediate effect.

It comes as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was forced to delay the lifting of coronavirus restrictions by four weeks until July 19 due to surging cases.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said: ‘The broader picture is that the variant has increased in prevalence in the UK.

‘I think it makes sense that we continue to monitor this, which we will take public health advice as we move along, but so far the reopening has gone well in Ireland.’

Under the previous regime, UK travellers arriving in Ireland had to produce a negative PCR test and then self-isolate at home. But they could leave isolation after five days with a second negative test.

People arriving from the UK will now have to produce a negative PCR test on day five and day 10 of self-isolation before they are allowed to exit the quarantine period, if they are not vaccinated.

Those who do not avail of PCR tests must isolate for 14 days.

Fully vaccinated people can reduce their period of self-isolation to five days, if they can produce a negative PCR test at that point.

The Department of Health has said that the legal requirement to self-isolate will also apply to people arriving in Northern Ireland from Britain, who then travel on to the Republic.

Tuesday brought an additional 283 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland, the Department of Health said.

There were 60 people in hospitals with the disease, of whom 23 are in intensive care units.

Daily case numbers may change due to future data review, validation and update, owing to the cyberattack on the HSE.

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