Potential Imprisonment Awaits Arrivals Failing to Complete Self-Isolation

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People traveling into Ireland may face fines or imprisonment if they fail to isolate for two weeks under plans being considered by government.

Passengers who arrive without a negative PCR test will have to quarantine in a hotel for two weeks, likely at their own expense.

The cabinet sub-committee on COVID will discuss more strict rules on international travel.

This will include mandatory two week quarantine for anyone arriving without a negative PCR test, or for anyone coming from Brazil, South Africa or other countries where there’s concern about new strains of the virus.

For everyone else they will be expected to isolate wherever they are staying as per current guidelines.

But there’s likely to be a clampdown with possible unannounced spot checks by gardaí who will have the power to fine or imprison people for breaches.

Some exceptions are being looked at for people traveling back to Ireland on compassionate grounds.

Contact with the governments in Belfast and London is ongoing about an all-island or two-island quarantine solution, but both are in very early stages.

The cabinet sub-committee is also likely to approve extending level 5 restrictions by 4 weeks until the end of February.

The re-opening of schools is also on the agenda as Education Minister Norma Foley briefs government party leaders, though it’s unlikely a decision will be taken today.