It would be useful for Northern Ireland to adopt the same mandatory hotel quarantining rule as the Republic, Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin told MPs in parliament on Wednesday.
“Obviously, it would be very important if there was alignment in terms of the mandatory hotel quarantining, and people coming through the North will be subject to that legal framework if they come into the Republic,” said Martin.
Ireland will be the first country in Europe to adopt this measure which will see travellers from 33 countries flagged as high-risk quarantining in a hotel for 12 days from Friday. Travellers will have to pre-book and pre-pay to stay in one of the designated quarantine hotels upon arrival. So far, Northern Ireland (NI) has not adopted such a system, prompting fears of travellers using NI as a route to the Republic.
Lockdown regulations in NI and the Republic of Ireland have so far been aligned, and current measures are set to be reviewed on 5 April.
“Indeed, that alignment may extend because, notwithstanding the progress that Northern Ireland has made on the vaccination programme, there may be a phased approach to the easing of restrictions there,” Martin added. (Paula Kenny | EURACTIV.com)