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Quarantine hotels should not be turned into “detention centres” – Foreign Affairs minister

DUBLIN: Two of the three people who absconded from the mandatory hotel quarantine returned. The three people escaped from the Crown Plaza in Santry near Dublin Airport. The three people escaped from the Crown Plaza in Santry, near Dublin Airport. Two of them have returned but the search for one continues.

The hotel was guarded by the Defence Forces and private security guards, but they had no authority to stop people from leaving. While leaving during the quarantine is a criminal offense, only the Gardai have the authority to interfere. Three people absconded from quarantine in two different incidents on Saturday. It is a total disgrace that such an incident took place from the very first group of the mandatory hotel quarantine.

The Foreign Affairs minister Simon Coveney said he wants to ensure that quarantine hotels are not turned into detention centers. The government should learn a lesson from this incident. “We are trying to create as normal an atmosphere as possible in these hotels, rather than some kind of military detention centre.”

“What we’re trying to do is ensure that while people are staying in quarantine, it’s a hotel atmosphere that they’re living in – for their children, for themselves, for their mental health, for the frustrations that undoubtedly builds up over up to 14 days staying in a hotel room when you’re only allowed out for a walk for a couple of times a day,” he said.

“Any country that has introduced mandatory hotel quarantine has had problems. This is not a straightforward process. That’s why no other country in the EU is doing it except Ireland.”

Defense members were there when people escaped. “But they’re not there to stop people leaving, they’re there in a supervisory capacity to make sure that all the protocols are operating as they should.”

People from all over the world cannot be allowed to enter Ireland without any restrictions. This is because the government attaches great importance to the safety of the people. Hotel quarantine is designed to restrict access to Ireland for people from countries listed by the government.

“Having said that, we have to ensure that we provide a guaranteed minimum standard to make sure that children in particular, but also adults and families, are looked after properly. Of course there will be an inspection system and a supervisory system to make sure that that’s the case,” the Minister added.

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