Ireland doubles quarantine period for unvaccinated Brits as Delta variant spreads
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Ireland is implementing strict new protocols for travellers from Great Britain to help keep the Delta variant of COVID-19 from spreading. British arrivals who are not fully vaccinated will now have to quarantine for 10 days in Ireland.
Unvaccinated visitors from the U.K. now have to show a negative PCR test result on days five and 10 before they can exit the mandatory quarantine.
Previously, unvaccinated British tourists could end their quarantine after five days with proof of a negative PCR test.
Under the new rules, vaccinated British travellers also must quarantine, but only for five days. They will be free to resume normal activity after five days as long as they can produce a negative PCR test.
The Irish government approved the new protocols on Tuesday and put them in effect immediately.
A number of countries are increasing travel restrictions on British travellers due to fears of the new, more transmissible strain of the virus that is linked to rising COVID-19 cases in England. The changes also come as international travel from Ireland is set to resume from 19 July.
“The broader picture is that the variant has increased in prevalence in the UK,” said Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin. “I think it makes sense that we continue to monitor this, which we will take public health advice as we move along, but so far the reopening has gone well in Ireland.”
Concerns about the spread of the Delta variant also led British PM Boris Johnson to delay lifting the U.K.’s final lockdown restrictions until 19 July.
The rules for Irish travel to the U.K. are much less stringent. Restrictions against non-essential travel were eased from 24 May. There is no requirement to quarantine for Irish visitors going to England. However, Irish travellers will have to adhere to local restriction, which remain in place for at least another four weeks.
Featured photo by NurPhoto/Getty Images.
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