President Micheal D Higgins signs mandatory 14-day quarantine legislation into law
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President Micheal D Higgins signs mandatory 14-day quarantine legislation into law

PRESIDENT MICHAEL D Higgins has signed legislation into law meaning people arriving from certain countries must now self-quarantine for a mandatory period of 14 days. 

The Health (Amendment) Bill 2021 was first brought forward to the Dail last month by Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, where it was passed. 

The bill also passed through the Seanad and has now been formally signed into law by President Higgins. 

It means quarantine is now a mandatory requirement for anyone travelling into Ireland from a country classified as being “high risk” for importing Covid-19. 

A total of 33 different countries are on the Government’s “high risk” list. 

They are: Argentina, Angola, Austria, Brazil, Bolivia, Botswana, Burundi, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Lesotho, Malawi, Eswatini, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Suriname, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. 

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The Irish government has doubled down its efforts on control any potentially imported cases with the establishment of a National Oversight Group for Variants of Concern. 

The group has been established to monitor and advise the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Tony Holohan, on the threat of variants with their recommendations subsequently passed on to the Minister for Health. 

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said: “The Government continues to advise against all non-essential international travel at this time and a range of measures is in place to reinforce this policy. 

"If you travel to Ireland from any of the high-risk countries, you must complete a full 14-day quarantine period.” 

“This applies to all passengers from designated states, regardless of nationality and the aim of this measure is to protect the population from challenges posed by new variants of concern.”