Travellers heading to Ireland from Kenya will have to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival in the European country.
On Saturday, Dublin added Kenya and several other countries to its version of the Covid-19 ‘red list’, whose travellers must have pre-booked a hotel for quarantine.
Officials said the directive that takes effect on April 15 is meant to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Five other countries were added to the list amid concerns over new Covid-19 variants.
Others include Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, USA, Canada, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Turkey, Armenia, Bermuda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Curaçao, Maldives and Ukraine.
Travellers from Kenya will be required, starting 4am this Thursday, to book themselves into designated quarantine hotels at their own expense upon arrival in Ireland.
« These arrangements apply to any passenger who has been in any of these countries in the previous 14 days, even if only transiting through one of these countries and even if remaining airside, » part of the information from Irish embassy’s website read.
« If you fall into the category of traveller required to quarantine on arrival, it is an offence if you travel to Ireland without making the booking in advance, without reasonable excuse. »
Public health advice
Irish Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, said the move follows public health advice relating to variants of Covid-19.
« This is another strong move following public health advice relating to variants of concern with Covid-19. These variants pose a significant risk to our fight against this disease and our vaccination programme. This decision also reinforces Ireland’s biosecurity, ensuring we have the strongest measures in place in Europe, » he was quoted by The Irish Times.
The Irish Defence Forces have been designated as the State Liaison Official (SLO) to support Ireland’s mandatory hotel quarantine policy.
Upon arrival in Ireland, travellers will meet members of the Defence Forces who will ensure they are safely and securely transported from the port of entry to the location in which they will complete their pre-booked mandatory hotel quarantine.
Last week, Kenya reacted angrily after the UK imposed a mandatory quarantine on travellers transiting or travelling from Kenya to the UK, citing increasing cases of the South African Covid-19 variant among travellers.
Nairobi responded by imposing a passenger flight ban, arguing UK’s move was discriminatory and did not arise from facts.
On Saturday, Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary, Macharia Kamau, said he did not agree with Ireland’s decision either.
But he said he could understand as the list includes countries with a heavy toll of infections and deaths.
« I may not agree that Kenya deserves to be on the list. Clearly, it is an outlier, but this list represents a rationale I can fathom, » PS Kamau said.