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14-day isolation is not required if COVID-19 is negative; Ireland offers concessions on quarantine terms to overseas passengers

DUBLIN: If COVID-19 is negative, the government has decided that people coming from abroad will not have to restrict movement inside and outside the country for 14 days. Ireland’s quarantine changes are based on European policy.

From the end of this month, those arriving from red or orange countries can take the PCR COVID-19 test privately. It will cost around €150-€200. The government also said that if the result is negative, they would not have to restrict their movements for two weeks.

Those arriving from a red category country can take the test only after five days. So they need to restrict their movements during these five days. Those from orange countries do not have this limitation. The COVID test can be performed from the first day of travel. Those from orange countries do not have this limitation and can take the COVID-19 test from the first day of the trip.

Thomas Byrne, the minister in charge of European affairs, said the government was considering setting up private testing centres at Irish airports. The minister said COVID testing centres are expected to be set up at Dublin Airport, Cork and Shannon airports.

Test centres that are opening at airports will not be of benefit to people coming from red countries as they will not be able to test for five days. But those coming from the orange countries will benefit, the minister explained.

There are currently no orange countries on Ireland’s list. But there is a green country- Greenland. Those traveling to and from green countries do not need a private COVID-19 test. They do not have to restrict their movements also. However, he explained that these new measures should not encourage people to travel unnecessarily.

“This is a European system and we’ve common policies right across Europe in relation to travel. It’s important to remember we are still in Level 5 restrictions and people are being asked not to travel except for the reasons set out in the regulations,” the minister said.

“This is not about Christmas either this is simply the conclusion of work that has been going on at European level for the past six months or so to have common rules in place,” he added.

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