The European Commission says there should be “less restrictive” quarantine measures for citizens arriving from five EU member states into Ireland, and there should be clear and operational exemptions for essential travel into the country.
The Commission has written to the government seekign clarity from Irish authorities on the metrics and criteria used to determine which EU countries faced mandatory hotel quarantine.
Commission spokesperson Christian Wigand said: “The Commission has concerns regarding this measure in relation to the general principles of EU law, in particular proportionality and non-discrimination.
“We have been in contact with the Irish authorities during the past days on this matter. Today the Commission sent a letter to the Irish authorities asking for clarifications on this matter and on the criteria used to determine the designated [EU] countries.
“The Commission believes that the objective pursued by Ireland, which is the protection of public health during the pandemnic, could be achieved by less restrictive measures.”
Wigand said that recommendations agreed by EU health ministers in October and February provided guidelines for member states to follow and that these included “clear and operational exemptions for essential travel.”
“We invite the Irish authorities to align more closely their measures taken with the provisions of the council recommendation member states agreed in October and updated earlier this year.” He said the government had ten days to reply to the letter.
The @EU_Commission has concerns regarding the mandatory hotel quarantine in #Ireland for travelers from 5 EU Member States. Today we sent a letter to Irish authorities asking for clarifications. The objective pursued by Ireland could be achieved by less restrictive measures. pic.twitter.com/wcRQVP2Xh4
— Christian Wigand (@ChristianWigand) April 16, 2021