Brussels queries Ireland’s Covid-19 quarantine for some EU visitors

Brussels queries Ireland’s Covid-19 quarantine for some EU visitors
Brussels queries Ireland’s Covid-19 quarantine for some EU visitors

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Test tube with Corona virus name label is seen in this illustration taken on January 29, 2020. — Reuters pic

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BRUSSELS, April 16 — The European Commission today sent a letter to Ireland questioning its mandatory hotel quarantine for people arriving from five EU countries, a spokesman said.

The measure — applied to travellers coming from Austria, Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg — raises “concerns” under principles of EU law in terms of proportionality and non-discrimination, spokesman Christian Wigand told journalists.

The five EU countries are among 71 nations listed in the Irish government decision, which calls for a minimum 10-day hotel quarantine to limit the import of new coronavirus variants.

“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,” Wigand said.

After contact with Irish authorities in past days, the letter was sent asking for “clarifications on this matter and on the criteria used to determine the designated countries,” he said.

Ireland has 10 days to respond to the letter, he said.

Wigand noted a Commission recommendation that calls for EU citizens and residents carrying out essential trips to be given exceptions from measures such as quarantine.

The EU executive in February sent similar letters to six other EU countries — Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Hungary and Sweden — over intra-EU travel restrictions they had imposed that risked disrupting EU freedom of movement and supply chains. — AFP

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