Austria and Italy are among 11 countries removed from Ireland’s mandatory hotel quarantine list with immediate effect.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly made the announcement in a statement released this evening.
The countries from which travellers no longer have to spend two weeks quarantining in a hotel for two weeks are: Armenia, Aruba, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Curaçao, Italy, Jordan, Kosovo, Lebanon, North Macedonia and Ukraine.
However, arrivals from Nepal and Anguilla will be added to the list from Wednesday May 12 and will have to spend nearly €2,000 on two weeks in a designated hotel, unless they have been fully vaccinated or have urgent or other designated essential reasons for travelling.
“The decision to add to the list of designated States was taken following advice received by the Chief Medical Officer,” Mr Donnelly said.
All travellers into Ireland must have a negative pre-departure test and those from non-designated countries must quarantine at home for two weeks, the Department of Health said.
Ireland has come under criticism from within the European Union for adding some of the bloc’s countries to the MHQ system, while some airlines and travel organisations say the system is unwarranted. More than 60 countries around the world are on the list.
Andorra, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey are still on the list, as are the US and Canada, although the EU has agreed that travellers from the US may visit this summer for non-essential purposes as long as they are fully vaccinated.
It comes as the EU tries to agree a digital green passport system to allow people who have been fully vaccinated, have already had Covid, or have received a negative test result, to travel freely.