The government is to introduce a stricter quarantine requirement for unvaccinated passengers arriving from the UK.
In plans set to be announced this week, any unvaccinated arrival from the UK will be forced to quarantine at home for longer than the current 14 days.
Speaking on RTE’s This Week programme, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said that the threat of the Delta variant in the UK has forced the government’s hand: “I don’t want to announce anything today but we are looking at this seriously,” he said.
He floated the prospect of a longer quarantine period, saying “we need to do what we can to make sure, within reason, that we do that we slow down the spread of that variant into Ireland at an absolute minimum.”
“Obviously I think people who are fully vaccinated are in a different category in the UK in terms of travelling to people who are not vaccinated,” he added.
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson is this evening, 14 June, set to announce a four-week delay to lifting the last of the restrictions, also in an effort to contain the threat of the Delta variant.
Restoring the Common Travel Area
Ireland’s reluctance to restore the terms of the Common Travel Area – where visitors from the UK can travel to Ireland without restrictions, is seen as a major blow to the tourist summer season as nearly half of all international visitors to Ireland come from the UK.
Currently, all incoming passengers from the UK need to have proof of a negative PCR test and must restrict their movements for 14 days, unless they arrange a test no less than five days after their arrival.
There are no restrictions on cross-border travel between Northern Ireland and the Republic, nor are there restrictions on travel from Ireland to the UK or – crucially – on travel from mainland Britain to Northern Ireland.