IRELAND'S Mandatory Hotel Quarantine system is ending immediately following an announcement by the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly.
All remaining States – the six remaining all being from South America – will now be removed from the list, meaning that the approximately 50 people currently in Mandatory Hotel Quarantine will be released immediately.
The decision to end the quarantine requirement came from the advice of the Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan.
The system was introduced in Ireland in March of this year to stem the spread of Covid-19, particularly the proliferation of new, potentially vaccine-resistant variants of the disease.
Forcing incoming travellers to isolate in a hotel room, a seemingly unimaginable scenario but 18 months prior, was not a system without teething pains.
There were instances where people absconded, complained about poor living conditions, and requested special treatment on account of illness and other extenuating factors.
Exemptions were later afforded to the fully vaccinated and those travelling for medical reasons.
From its inception, 10,294 people entered Mandatory Hotel Quarantine, and of those, 593 residents, approximately 6% of those in isolation, tested positive for Covid-19.
Eight hotels were used at its peak and of the 3,426 appeals that were launched, 526 (15.35%) were granted.
"The Mandatory Hotel Quarantine system was introduced as an exceptional public health measure at a time that our country was contending with the very serious risk of importation of variants of concern that had the potential to overwhelm our health service and, in particular, to undermine Ireland's Covid-19 vaccination programme," said Mr Donnelly.
He added: "The successful operation of MHQ has played a central role in protecting the population, maintaining control of the disease and enabling the safe relaxation of restrictions on our economy and society.”