“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 pandemic, could be achieved by less restrictive measures.”
“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.”
Christian Wigand, EU Commission Spokesperson for Rule of Law, the Charter of Fundamental Rights, Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Employment and Social Affairs.
The commission has given Ireland ten days to respond.
Earlier: “No Apologies”
Warning: some sweary language.
Last night: Checking Out
A quarantine hotel in Santry, Dublin last week
Two cases taken by a man and a woman who were each challenging the legality of making them quarantine in a hotel after arriving from Israel, have been struck out at the High Court.
The man and woman were both allowed to leave their hotels yesterday afternoon, so the challenges to the legality of their detention are no longer necessary
Derek Jennings, 47, had arrived home on Friday to support his family after his father, who has cancer, became critically ill.
He had appealed against his quarantine on humanitarian grounds, and on the grounds that Israel was to be removed from the list of designated states by the Government.
Two cases over hotel quarantine struck out by High Court (RTÉ)
Passengers are escorted in to a quarantine hotel in Santry, Dublin, after arriving in Dublin Airport from a designated ‘hot’ country.
We can sleep easier tonight.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said more EU countries will be added to the list of countries on the mandatory hotel quarantine list.
Mr Coveney said the Government is looking at issues that are undoubtedly going to flow from that, such as capacity and potential legal issues.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, he said various Government departments have been working to address the necessary capacity and systems issues before it “dramatically increases” the list.
He said such discussions would conclude this week.
Govt looking at extending mandatory quarantine list (RTÉ)
Tallaght District Court, Dublin.
The two women who refused to go into the mandatory hotel quarantine system when met by the Army at the airport appeared in court today. The women, both aged in their 30s, returned to Ireland yesterday after travelling to the United Arab Emirates for cosmetic surgery. They have have been remanded in custody with consent to bail.
Via RTE news:
Michael French, solicitor who represented both women, said his clients will be challenging the constitutionality of the legislation and remand in custody would be disproportionate given the offence they are charged with carries a maximum prison sentence of one month.
He also said his clients, who had travelled to Dubai for breast enhancements, were not aware of the regulations before they travelled.
He said Kirstie McGrath is mother to two young children aged six and 10 and there is no one else to take care of them.
He said Niamh Mulready is mother to a seven-year-old child and had refused to go into quarantine as she needed to get home to look after her child.
He said both women would agree to bail conditions which required them to quarantine at home for two weeks, to check in with gardaí and he could not see why the State would not agree to this. He said both women had provided three negative Covid-19 tests in the last week.
Women remanded in custody after refusing to go to hotel quarantine (RTE)
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney
Further to Department of Health plans to expand the Mandatory Hotel Quarantine scheme to include 43 additional countries, including the United States, France and Germany….
“There are a lot of concerns about our capacity to (increase the number of countries) in the short term. We need to think through the implications of that.
“It is one thing having a couple of hundred people in two or three hotels being managed by a contractor and the Defence Forces and working with the Garda Síochána and the Department of Health .
“It’s quite another thing having thousands of people in hotels which would have the implication of expanding this to lots of countries particularly EU countries where there are a lot of Irish people.”
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney in an interview with Highland Radio this morning.
Hotel quarantine should not apply to countries where many Irish live, Coveney says (Irish Times)