Ireland’s mandatory hotel quarantine for passengers arriving to the Republic of Ireland from certain countries was introduced at 04:00am on the 26th of March 2021.  We previously wrote about the mandatory hotel quarantine system here.

As at 04:00am on Thursday the 15th of April, the following additional countries have been added to the list of States from which travellers are obliged to enter mandatory quarantine:

Kenya, Bangladesh, Maldives, Pakistan, Armenia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Turkey, Ukraine, Bermuda, Canada, United States of America and Curaçao.

Persons traveling to Ireland from countries subject to the mandatory hotel quarantine list must book and pay for the hotel accommodation prior to travelling to Ireland.  It is a criminal offence to travel without making the booking in advance, without reasonable excuse.

On Tuesday the 13th of April, the Minister for Health confirmed that the Department of Health had paused taking mandatory hotel quarantine bookings due to capacity issues.

Persons who have already made their booking for mandatory hotel quarantine are not affected and bookings can still be made for dates from Monday the19th of April onwards. It is understood that there will be significant additional hotel capacity from Monday the 19th of April, where numbers will increase from 650 to approximately 960.  The following week it is understood that there will be more than 1,300 rooms available.  Given the number of empty hotel rooms around the country at present, it is very hard to understand why such capacity issues are arising and why the Department must suspend taking bookings.

It clearly shows a clear lack of planning and organisation on the Government’s behalf when implementing the system.

In recent days there have been several challenges to the legality of the hotel quarantine system.  A number of applicants have instituted proceedings in the High Court challenging the legality of their detention in mandatory quarantine facilities for various reasons.  Some of the issues which have arisen relate to the requirement of persons who have been fully vaccinated and presented negative PCR tests to enter mandatory quarantine, army officers and Dublin Airport officials having no power to use discretion to allow a person to quarantine at home in exceptional circumstances, the exceptionally high burden of proof placed on applicants where appeals are lodged against the mandatory quarantine on humanitarian grounds as well as other legal issues.

Given the many inconsistencies in the current mandatory hotel quarantine system, we expect that many more challenges will be taken before the courts in the coming days and weeks.

Sinnott Solicitors with offices in Dublin and Cork are experts on all Irish immigration matters.  If you are a person who is required to enter mandatory hotel quarantine after entering the State and have questions or wish to take a challenge against the State in relation to your detention, do not hesitate to contact our immigration Department today on or +35314062862.