Quarantine to remain as ministers put travel 'green list' on hold beyond 9 July

THE PUBLICATION OF a ‘green list’ of countries to which it’s safe to travel will not happen next week, as had been expected, it’s understood. 

Following a cabinet meeting yesterday, the list’s publication is expected to be postponed until 20 July. 

It’s understood that the government’s quarantine measures for visitors into Ireland will remain in place until the ‘green list’ is published. Quarantine measures will remain for countries not on the list, once it’s published. 

On Thursday, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar had said that the ‘green list’ of countries that Ireland could possibly strike ‘air bridge’ deals with will be published by 9 July. 

On the same day, the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, also said that the government still intends to publish the list on 9 July but that the current advice is still against all non-essential overseas travel. 

“There may be a recommendation to Cabinet that that might change, but as of right now that is the government position,” he said on RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland programme. 

The previous government had said that when the ‘green list’ was published, it would be subject to change and be updated every two weeks. 

Currently, people who arrive in Ireland from abroad – including people resident here – are asked to self-isolate for 14 days. Everyone who arrives here from another country must fill out a Covid-19 passenger locator form, and provide details on where they intend to self-isolate. 

However, there is no mandatory quarantine – it has been suggested such measures would be ‘unworkable’. 

Dr Tony Holohan, who on Thursday said he was stepping away from his work as Chief Medical Officer, has said that he is “genuinely very concerned” about Irish people taking holidays abroad and “re-importing infection back into this country”.

The advice from the Irish government remains that people should not engage in non-essential travel outside Ireland. 

This week, the Irish Travel Agents Association said that the government needs to clarify the “mixed messaging” over travel. 

The association said if the official advice is for people not to travel abroad, the government should cancel all flights and ensure people are refunded.

The Consumer Association of Ireland has called for the government to create a compensation fund to reimburse holidaymakers who have cancelled flights, or will not travel as planned, on foot of government travel advice.

Yesterday, the UK government published a list of 73 countries and territories where English holidaymakers can visit without self-isolating on their return.

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The UK list features popular short-haul destinations such as Spain, France, Italy, Turkey, Greece and Cyprus, as well as long-haul locations including Australia, Barbados, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand and Vietnam.

With additional reporting by Christina Finn and Órla Ryan

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