Taoiseach says it’s too soon for British holidaymakers to visit Ireland without two-week quarantine
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Taoiseach says it’s too soon for British holidaymakers to visit Ireland without two-week quarantine

BRITISH HOLIDAYMAKERS visiting Ireland must still complete a two-week quarantine, the Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said. 

Speaking during an appearance on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Martin said it was too soon for such restrictions to be lifted. 

While the Irish government is developing a list of green countries that will soon be safe to travel to and from without quarantine, the Taoiseach said the nations on this list would be at "Ireland’s level of disease control or below". 

It's a comment that appears to rule out people from both the US and UK visiting without quarantine, given the R number and reported new cases in both countries.

“Suppression of the virus is key,” he continued.  

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“In certain parts of the UK there are still difficulties where certain areas have had to go into lockdown and so on and further severe restrictions… Caution is the watch word here.” 

Despite the cautious outlook, Martin was keen to stress that the green list would be kept under regular review throughout the pandemic. 

“Why, because there’s a lot of international volatility with this virus, we’ve seen a spike in numbers and we’re very concerned about that,” he said. 

The Taoiseach’s cabinet is due to meet to discuss the issue next week, though he admitted they were keeping a close eye on “what’s happening across Europe". 

During the interview, Martin was quizzed on the ongoing issues surrounding Brexit, explaining: “I think there will be a deal, there has to be a deal. It can’t be at any price.” 

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“I’m very heartened by our discussion in terms of trying to reset the British Irish relationship post Brexit, which I think the Prime Minister is very keen on doing. And I was particularly taken by that,” he said. 

Discussing Fianna Fáil’s policy of a United Ireland, Martin said that he was exploring options, though he dismissed the idea of a border poll as “too divisive”.