Dáil debates

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation

 

12:40 pm

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)

I do not think this is about billionaires flying in on private jets. That is just a conspiracy theory. This is about hundreds of thousands of Irish citizens who live in the US and France and hundreds of thousands of EU citizens who live here but call places like Poland home.

The situation is that consultations are now under way, as is required under the legislation, about extending mandatory hotel quarantine to more countries. It will be extended to more countries. I cannot tell the Deputy now exactly when or exactly which ones but consultation is now under way about that.

Part of the advice is not only about keeping variants out. It is about extending mandatory quarantine to countries where we are not concerned about the variants but where there is a high incidence of Covid. Certain things have to be worked out. Do we have the hotels to do this properly? What is the legal position in respect of the common travel area and the rights of European citizens to free movement? What is the exit strategy? Covid will exist in the world forever. There will be variants, probably forever. Will we have mandatory hotel quarantine forever? There are many things that need to be considered on foot of this advice.

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