The government is to consider tighter travel restrictions between Ireland and Britain in an attempt to control the spread of the Delta Covid variant, according to Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney.
The minister stated that among the restrictions will be longer quarantine times for unvaccinated travellers. The Delta variant, which is now the dominant strain in the UK, was first identified in India and is 60% more transmissible than the Alpha strain.
While describing the numbers as concerning, Coveney stated that they need to be looked at seriously to control and slow down the spread of the variant in Ireland. Coveney spoke to the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly and said that they want to get the balance right and protect the Common Travel Area as best as they can.
Senior sources stated that travel restrictions between both countries could be considered with the case numbers of the variant being attentively monitored by the government. Northern Ireland’s Public Health Agency has reported 111 probable and confirmed cases of the Delta variant.
The current quarantine period for people arriving from Britain into Ireland is five days, which is spent at home, if they get a second negative PCR test. The government believe that every week the spread of the Delta variant can be controlled, the more it will benefit the vaccination programme.
Cabinet Ministers will be meeting this evening to discuss the lifting of all Covid-19 restrictions in England, which is due to take place on the 21st of June. However, it has been speculated that the lifting of restrictions could be delayed by up to four weeks due to concerns over the Delta variant.