Mandatory quarantine could be in place for a year if brought in - Leo Varadkar
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Mandatory quarantine could be in place for a year if brought in - Leo Varadkar

MANDATORY QUARANTINE requirements for anyone arriving in Ireland could remain in place for an entire year if the government decides to give the proposal the green light.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said that holidays abroad would be off the cards - as would travelling home for Christmas in December.

Speaking on the Claire Byrne Live show, Varadkar said that mandatory quarantine would "probably be for a year" if it was introduced and would be difficult to reverse.

He warned that travelling abroad for educational and professional reasons could pose problems, and hinted that travelling to visit a sick or dying family member could also be off the table.

The Tánaiste also said the initiative wouldn't be fully effective without an all-Ireland approach to the rule.

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"Speaking to my New Zealand counterpart [about mandatory quarantine] there is only so much you can do," Varadkar said.

"You can only let about 500 or 600 people in a day. That would mean that some travel that we deem essential would not be permitted.

"People going to London for an interview, people who are travelling for education, people who want to see a dying relative, we wouldn't be able to guarantee that that travel is possible.

"So I'm not saying we won't be doing it, we are looking at it. But people need to understand that it won't be fully effective."