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‘It’s costly, we can’t afford it’ – People arriving into Ireland today to avoid new mandatory hotel quarantine rules 

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French Students Antoine Saives from Normandy, Tristan Le Fuste from Paris and Achille Roger from Nantes who flew into Dublin Airport from Paris. Photo by Steve Humphreys

French Students Antoine Saives from Normandy, Tristan Le Fuste from Paris and Achille Roger from Nantes who flew into Dublin Airport from Paris. Photo by Steve Humphreys

Mehwish Rani who flew into Dublin Airport from Paris. Photo by Steve Humphreys

Mehwish Rani who flew into Dublin Airport from Paris. Photo by Steve Humphreys

Adrian Criste from Kildare Town who flew into Dublin Airport from Romania. Photo by Steve Humphreys

Adrian Criste from Kildare Town who flew into Dublin Airport from Romania. Photo by Steve Humphreys

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French Students Antoine Saives from Normandy, Tristan Le Fuste from Paris and Achille Roger from Nantes who flew into Dublin Airport from Paris. Photo by Steve Humphreys

People who brought forward their travel plans from France to Ireland to avoid mandatory quarantine have said they did so because they could not afford the hotel costs, or they would lose out on their education opportunities.

On Thursday, France will join the list of countries from which people will have to quarantine in a hotel here, meaning some who had planned to travel here changed their bookings and availed of the narrow window of opportunity to avoid the cost and inconvenience of two weeks in a Dublin hotel room.

Three French students who are due to take up places studying business in Dublin flew in from Paris this morning and arrived at Terminal 2.

“We knew that if we waited until after Thursday we would have to quarantine and we would miss our course, so we changed our plans and came earlier,” said Antoine Saives (18) from Normandy.

“We will isolate in our accommodation instead and if we test negative after five days we are ok and can move around. We had to show negative test results arriving here and give information about where we are staying,” said Tristan Le Fuste (19) from Paris.

“If we didn’t come before Thursday we would be unable to do the course, and the quarantine would be costly,” Antoine explained.

The students are staying in student accommodation in Dublin and will study here until July.

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Mehwish Rani who flew into Dublin Airport from Paris. Photo by Steve Humphreys

Mehwish Rani who flew into Dublin Airport from Paris. Photo by Steve Humphreys

Mehwish Rani who flew into Dublin Airport from Paris. Photo by Steve Humphreys

On the same flight was Mewish Rani, who is originally from Pakistan but is living and working in Dublin.

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She had been in France because of a family medical emergency, and had planned to stay for 17 days but was arriving back in Dublin today after just 10 days in Paris.

“I would rather be in Paris with my sister and her family because they need my help, but if I stayed I would have to quarantine in a hotel here in Dublin when I came home and I just cannot afford it,” she said.

“In my heart I want to be with my family, but I had to come back to Dublin.

"I don’t want to have to stay in a hotel room for two weeks. I will self-isolate at home in Dublin city centre and work from there, and a friend has said she will bring my shopping.”

She continued; “I can understand the reason why the quarantine is being introduced.

"The numbers of Covid cases in France are high, and I can see why the government wants to protect people from that. I have no problem with that.

"But I think the quarantine here was not very well thought through. I think if you have a place you can self-isolate you should be able to do that,” she added.

“At the end of the day it comes down to money. I just could not afford nearly €2,000 to cover the cost of the quarantine so I had to travel early,” Ms Rani explained.

“Also, in France the Covid PCR test is free and can be used for travel, but if I wanted to get a test here for travel it would cost me €100. I think testing should be for free,” she added.

“I also think having to quarantine just because you transited through another airport is wrong.”

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Adrian Criste from Kildare Town who flew into Dublin Airport from Romania. Photo by Steve Humphreys

Adrian Criste from Kildare Town who flew into Dublin Airport from Romania. Photo by Steve Humphreys

Adrian Criste from Kildare Town who flew into Dublin Airport from Romania. Photo by Steve Humphreys

The measures which will bring 16 countries including France, Italy, Belgium, Canada and the US onto the quarantine list will come into effect from 4am on Thursday 15.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said the decision was made following public health advice relating to Covid-19 variants of concern.

"These variants pose a significant risk to our fight against this disease and our vaccination programme," he added.

The Government is planning to nearly double the number of hotel rooms available for mandatory quarantine from 650 to more than 1,100 by the end of the month.

Government information online says a person travelling from one of the countries on the quarantine list must quarantine for 14 days a quarantine hotel, and this period can be extended if they test positive and are still symptomatic at the end of the 14-day period.

People may leave after 10 days if they get a negative PCR test.


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