Ireland adds Kenya to list of designated states for mandatory hotel quarantine


FILE PHOTO: A passenger covers her face after getting off a designated quarantine bus at ...
FILE PHOTO: A passenger covers her face after getting off a designated quarantine bus at Crowne Plaza Dublin Airport Hotel, as Ireland introduces hotel quarantine programme for 'high-risk' countries' travellers, in Dublin, Ireland March 26, 2021. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Kenya has been added to the list of designated states for mandatory hotel quarantine in Ireland.

Also Read: Jane Marriott says decision to add Kenya to UK ‘red list’ based on science

A spot check via the Irish Government website shows that an average night in a hotel costs 1,875.00 (Ksh. 239,429).

“From 4am on 15 April, passengers arriving in Ireland from Kenya must have prebooked mandatory hotel quarantine before travel,” the embassy of Ireland in Kenya said on Twitter.

The directive affects those who have been in a designated state at any time in the 14 days before arrival in Ireland or have travelled through an airport or port in a designated state.

“If you come into Ireland from a designated state you must complete a minimum period of 10 days of mandatory quarantine in a hotel,” the website reads.

However, if you receive a negative or ‘not detected’ result from a COVID-19 PCR test taken on day 10, your period of quarantine may be completed at home.

Before traveling to Ireland, you must reserve and pay for a place in mandatory hotel quarantine. The Irish Government website assists those seeking to pre-book their hotel.

Ireland has also added the United States, Canada, Belgium, France and Italy to its list of countries where arrivals will be subject to mandatory hotel quarantine, tightening some of Europe’s toughest travel restrictions to try to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Ireland, the only one of the European Union’s 27 countries to introduce a hotel quarantine, announced it will also require all arrivals to have booked a COVID-19 test for five days after landing in addition to one taken in the days before travelling.

It followed neighbouring Britain in bringing in the regime for people from countries deemed “high risk” or those without a negative COVID-19 test. However, Britain has so far resisted calls for the inclusion of some European countries.

A strict lockdown in Ireland since late December has turned one of the world’s highest incidence rates of COVID-19 into one of Europe’s lowest.

The government initially stopped short of a recommendation by health officials last week to add a number of EU countries where large numbers of Irish nationals live, citing potential legal challenges around the bloc’s freedom of movement rules.

Also Read: KQ suspends passenger flights between Kenya and UK

Hotel quarantine rules are planned to be in place for only a few months, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said this week. Tourism groups have criticised the government for not providing an exit plan on how they would unwind the measures.

“We can see a permanent pathway out of this pandemic but can’t allow variants of concern to set us back on the progress we have made,” Donnelly said in a statement on Friday.

On April 2 this year, the British Government also announced that Kenya has been included in the COVID-19 travel ban red list.

The British High Commission said visitors who have been in or transited through Kenya in the previous 10 days will be refused entry into England.

“British, Irish and third-country nationals with residence rights arriving from these countries will be required to quarantine in a Government-approved facility for 10 days,” the statement reads.

Bangladesh, Pakistan and Philippines will also be added to the red list travel ban.

In a letter to the Kenyan Foreign Ministry, the commission said the difficult decision was taken by UK Ministers on March 31 following a review of the latest scientific evidence pertaining to the risk of community transmission of COVID- 19 variants.

Additional report from Reuters

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