Ireland to EXCLUDE Britain from its list of quarantine-free countries despite UK allowing free travel there – and unobstructed movement of Brits and Irish between Northern Ireland
- Ireland is due to publish a ‘green list’ of countries on Monday whose citizens will not have to self-isolate for 14 days when they arrive
- UK is not expected to be on it, despite similar rule being dropped two weeks ago
- Americans will also be left off the list due to high infection rates in the US
- Arrivals from Northern Ireland will still be allowed into country quarantine-free
Ireland will continue forcing Britons to self-isolate for 14 days after arriving in the country even after its coronavirus travel restrictions are eased next week.
That is despite the fact that the UK stopped forcing Irish travellers to self-isolate two weeks ago.
The US is also expected to be left off a ‘green list’ of quarantine-free countries which is due to be published on Monday.
Travellers who arrive from Northern Ireland will still be allowed into the country without having to isolate.
Ireland will continue forcing British tourists to isolate for 14 days even after rules are relaxed next week, despite UK allowing Irish tourists in quarantine-free (pictured, Dublin airport)
Ireland has taken a cautious approach to easing lockdown, despite currently having one of the lowest infection rate in Europe – 4 cases per 100,000 people.
It is thought the list will focus on countries with a similar rate of infection, such as Germany and Italy, and exclude
‘I think it’s very unlikely that either the UK or the U.S. will be on that green list. It’s not going to be a particularly long list,’ Foreign Minister Simon Coveney on Friday.
The move spells dire news for the tourism industry, as travellers from Britain and the US make up the majority of overseas holidaymakers in Ireland.
In 2018, 3.5million Britons visited Ireland while 1.7million Americans also travelled there – a total of 5.2million. The rest of the world made up 4.1million.
The same year, Ireland made an estimated £6.75billion from overseas tourists, or roughly 2 per cent of its economy.
New Zealand is in a similar situation, after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern banned all foreign visitors from coming to the country after effectively wiping out coronavirus.
The US is also expected to be left off the list in a fresh blow for the tourism industry. UK and US arrivals make up the majority of travellers to Ireland in a typical year (file)
The country makes around £8.2billion each year from foreign tourism.
The government is considering giving people more annual holiday to try and plug the gap with domestic tourists, but tour operators warn it will not be enough.
Ireland has already paused plans to reopen pubs, which were due to reopen on July 20, for at least three more weeks until August 10.
Pubs which serve food have been allowed to reopen, provided diners order food, but the new measures would have seen the food requirement dropped.
It comes after the country’s R number was deemed to have risen above 1.
Professor Philip Nolan, who models the virus’ progress for the Government, said: ‘In the next couple of weeks we are in quite a precarious situation in terms of where this disease will travel.’
Prof Nolan said the virus’ reproductive rate was somewhere between 1.2 and 1.8.
By August 10 the number of new infections could be 20 or 30 a day if the rate is the lower value, he said.
If it is 1.8 the daily tally could be 150-170 a day, Prof Nolan added.
Acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn said the impact of actions like keeping pubs closed would be felt in future weeks.
Ireland is taking an extremely cautious approach to reopening, with pubs ordered to remain shut until at least August 10 – after previously being told they could reopen on July 20 (file)
‘The cases which we will report next week have already been seeded, however we have the power to limit the spread and impact of this disease beyond that.
‘The way we do so is through following public health advice, avoiding high risk situations and encouraging our friends and family to do the same.’
Taoiseach Micheal Martin said the situation could have been much more serious had his Government not acted quickly.
He acknowledged it was difficult for publicans but said ministers were acting on public health advice.
Their representative body said the delay was a ‘hammer blow’.
Larger weddings have also had to be put on hold following the Government’s decision this week.