Thu, 06 May 2021

BRUSSELS, Belgium: The EU has urged Ireland to ease the mandatory quarantine on many EU travelers entering the country.

In a letter sent to the Irish government, the European Commission on Friday brought up the issue of Ireland's mandatory hotel quarantine for travelers from some EU states.

On the list of countries whose citizens must enter a 14-day quarantine upon entering Ireland are five EU countries - Austria, Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg. Travelers from these countries are required to enter quarantine hotels and pay almost 2,000 euros to quarantine for up to 14 days in designated hotels.

EU spokesman Christian Wigand told journalists that issues raised included principles of EU law when it came to proportionality and non-discrimination during the pandemic.

"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.

The EU letter asked for "clarifications on this matter and on the criteria used to determine the designated countries," Wigand said.

The five EU countries whose citizens are required to quarantine are among 71 nations that are on the Irish list.

In March, the European Commission contacted six other EU countries regarding COVID-19 related travel restrictions.

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