Ireland considering restarting mandatory hotel quarantine

Empty city centre shopping street is seen, amid the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Dublin, Ireland, March 1, 2021. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo

DUBLIN, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Ireland is considering restarting its mandatory hotel quarantine regime after it told residents to avoid non-essential travel to seven southern African countries due to concerns over a new COVID-19 variant, its health minister said on Friday.

While Ireland has no direct flights to Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, it urged all Irish residents there to return as soon as possible and quarantine at home for 10 days upon their arrival.

"I've had advice from the chief medical officer to say it (mandatory hotel quarantine) is something we should consider," Stephen Donnelly told national broadcaster RTE, saying he would bring legislation before parliament early next week to enable the regime to resume after it was stood down in late September.

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Reporting by Padraic Halpin, Editing by William Maclean

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