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Revealed: More people flew into Dublin Airport in week after hotel quarantine was introduced than previous seven days


Dublin Airport arrivals. Photo: Colin Keegan/ Collins Dublin

Dublin Airport arrivals. Photo: Colin Keegan/ Collins Dublin

Dublin Airport arrivals. Photo: Colin Keegan/ Collins Dublin

More people flew into Dublin Airport after mandatory hotel quarantine was introduced, with nearly 14,000 travelling to Ireland over a seven-day period.

New figures show that around 2,400 more passengers arrived in the last week than the seven days previous.

The mandatory hotel quarantine system came into effect on March 26 and between then and April 1, 13,951 passengers flew into the country.

This was an increase on the previous week, when 11,494 people flew into Dublin Airport between March 19 and 25.

Meanwhile, just 241 bookings have been made to date for mandatory hotel quarantine.

The Department of Health said 97 bookings were made for March, 132 so far for April and 12 for May.

Only passengers arriving from countries and territories deemed high-risk are required to quarantine, as well as people who come from any location without proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours before their arrival in Ireland.

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However, once these passengers then provide a negative PCR test they can conduct their quarantine at home.

Daa said the passenger figures from the last two weeks are down 95pc and 96pc when compared with the equivalent periods pre-Covid.

From 4am on April 6, people travelling from 59 countries and territories will have to pre-book accommodation at a quarantine facility for 12 nights.

Some of the 26 new countries included are Albania, Andorra, Bahrain, Israel, Palestine and the Philippines.

Those already on the list include Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Chile, Mauritius, Rwanda, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates.

The mandatory hotel quarantine system has had a turbulent start after concerns about its legality were raised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Attorney General.

People coming into the State from France, Italy and Germany will not have to quarantine for now after the Attorney General, Paul Gallagher, warned it may be illegal to charge EU citizens to stay in quarantine hotels.

Those arriving from the United States also won’t have to quarantine.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly is looking to add more countries and states to the list of high-risk areas that necessitate a quarantine period on arrival in Ireland to prevent the possible spread of Covid-19 variants.

However, this has been met with some pushback by Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney, who has concerns about capacity at the hotels.

Fine Gael TD Charlie Flanagan who strongly opposed the system when he was justice minister – said it should be discontinued in the wake of controversial plans to expand it.

The alternative to hotel quarantine was to focus all efforts on the vaccination programme as it is “key to any semblance of normality”, he added.

The rate for a quarantine standard package of 12 nights inclusive of all services for one adult is €1875.

Children over 12 cost €625, while a child between four and 12 will cost €360. There is no charge for infants.

Anyone in quarantine must stay in their room except for exercise, which is allowed three times daily.

Meanwhile, one of three people who absconded from quarantine at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Santry, Dublin last week has not yet been found.

People can be fined up to €2,000 or face imprisonment of up to one month for breaches of the system.

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