DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland plans to lift from July 9 a 14-day quarantine for people arriving from countries that have also suppressed the coronavirus, acting prime minister Leo Varadkar said on Thursday.
Ireland will produce a “green list” of countries where the 14-day quarantine will not apply by the July 9 resumption date, Varadkar told a news conference, approving Ireland’s move to the third of the four-phase plan for reopening its economy.
Varadkar said the list of countries and criteria for so-called “air bridges” would be co-ordinated at an EU-level but also cautioned prospective holiday-makers that the list would be reviewed and may change every two weeks.
Ireland has reported an average of nine coronavirus cases a day for the past seven days, representing the biggest drop in new cases across the European Union over the last two weeks, Health Minister Simon Harris said.
So far, 1,727 people have died in Ireland from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Asked if the quarantine measures would remain in place with Britain, Varakdar said that while the incidence of the disease seemed to be going in the right direction there, its larger neighbour would not currently meet the criteria.
“That’s going to depend on the numbers but at the moment the incidence is very high in Great Britain, so if it was today, we would not be removing the 14-day requirement. We’ll see where we stand on July 9,” he said.
Varadkar made clear that the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland would remain open as it has been throughout the pandemic.
(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Angus MacSwan)