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Quarantine period may vary for travelers during Christmas period

Government of Ireland is also planning to slightly alter the traffic light system for international travel. People who travel back to home for Christmas needs to undergo testing and produce a negative test result for Covid-19.

This needs to be produced before they leave the airport and should isolate themselves for five days. There will be another test after the five days of isolation. These are applied to those coming from red listed countries.

At present the quarantine period is two weeks, but people who clears the fifth days test with a negative result need not undergo quarantine any longer.

The latest move from the government’s side is to cop up with other EU countries. Most of them had already made necessary adjustments to welcome international travelers safely and comfortably.

Meanwhile there are still discussions and debates among EU leaders related to the antigen test to be used for air travel.

The authorities including Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney and Transport Minister Eamon Ryan are pushing harder withing the government system itself to allow travelers to provide negative results from rapid tests before travelling to Ireland.

At the same time there are certain sections like the Department of Health and the HSE are not agreeing and preferring the antigen testing over the accurate laboratory tests.

On the previous week The Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) said that the antigen test can give quicker result, but at the same time this test is not suitable for all settings.  

In a virtual meeting organized by Taoiseach Micheál Martin with EU leaders, they agreed to give further consideration to use of rapid tests among member states.

The latest change on the traffic light system for travel will update the green, orange and red status alerts on a weekly basis and this update will be based on European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) data on Covid-19 incidence rates. 

Since Ireland is currently on the fifth level of the Living with Covid Plan, the government has advised that no unwanted trips of any kind inside or outside Ireland should be made for six weeks.

In other words, people traveling from green listed regions may enter Ireland without any restriction and can even travel to their home, but from there onwards they should follow the Covid guidelines and restrict their movements.

People traveling from Orange and Red regions should restrict their movements for 14 days unless they are essential workers.

However, from midnight on November 8, those coming from orange can avoid the need to restrict their movements, if there is a negative test result up to three days before arrival.

Travel restriction will still remain the same for the people coming from the red listed areas.

But the government believes that these restrictions can also be lifted if thay are tested negative by an authorized testing centre after five days of their arrival.

Taoiseach, last week said that he hasn’t given any sign regarding people’s travel during Christmas. He also said that it was too early to decide on lifting the restrictions.

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