Republic of Ireland news

Half of passengers arriving at Dublin Airport on Tuesday ‘had been on holiday'

 People queuing for Covid-19 tests at Dublin airport as the Cabinet meets on Monday to discuss tightening travel restrictions.
James Ward, PA

Half of all passengers coming into Dublin Airport on a single day this week were returning from holiday destinations, the Taoiseach has said.

Micheál Martin made the comments at a meeting of the Fianna Fail parliamentary party on Wednesday night, as he outlined the Government’s plans to introduce mandatory quarantine for some international travellers.

The meeting heard that on Tuesday this week, of 800 people who travelled into the country, 397 were returning from holiday destinations.

Of those who arrived, 542 were Irish, the Taoiseach told TDs and Senators, according to sources present at the meeting.

New measures announced this week include mandatory quarantine at a designated facility for people who arrive in Ireland without a negative PCR test taken in the past 72 hours.

Travellers arriving into the Republic of Ireland without a negative test could face a fine of 2,500 euro or a six-month prison sentence.

Visa-free short-term travel from South Africa and South America is suspended until at least March 5.

All passengers entering the country will be subject to mandatory quarantine, which signals a change from the policy of voluntary self-isolation.

Extra gardai will patrol airports and ports and anyone who is found breaching travel restrictions will face increased fines.

The current fine is 100 euro but it is set to increase to no more than 500 euro.

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Republic of Ireland news