Ireland includes Kuwait and Oman in 26 countries on hotel quarantine list

Irish authorities stop short of adding further EU member states despite surging Covid-19 case numbers

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Ireland added 26 countries, including Kuwait and Oman, to a list of nations subject to mandatory hotel quarantine on arrival.

Irish authorities announced the changes on Thursday but the extension of the list fell short of the 43 mooted earlier in the week.

Travellers coming from European Union member states will not be required to enter mandatory hotel quarantine despite many countries on the continent reporting spiralling Covid-19 case numbers.

According to reports, the Irish government was advised by the chief medical officer to add France, Germany, Italy and the US to the list of countries subject to 12-day hotel quarantine on arrival.

But ministers said a decision regarding countries such as those from the EU "will be considered in advance of the next government meeting". Ireland is an EU member state.

“Considerations will also address various issues including the operational capacity that may be required to accommodate additional travellers and issues related to the Common Travel Area and the need to consult with our EU partners,” a government statement said.

“Further consideration will also be given to ways in which measures pertaining to those travelling from non-designated states might be further strengthened.”

The following countries were added on Thursday: Albania, Andorra, Aruba, Bahrain, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Ethiopia, Israel, Jordan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Oman, Palestine, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Serbia, Somalia and Wallis and Futuna Islands.

Ireland has some of the strictest travel restrictions in the EU and last week followed England in bringing in hotel quarantine for arrivals of people from countries deemed "high risk" or for people without a negative Covid-19 test.

Including the new additions, there are 58 countries on the "designated states" list, most of which are in the Middle East, Africa, Central and South America.

Austria is the only EU member country on the list.

Arrivals must quarantine for up to 14 days in a hotel room or can leave after 10 if they test negative for Covid-19.

Travellers from newly added states will have to book accommodation for mandatory hotel quarantine if they intend to arrive in Ireland after 4am on April 6. Mauritius was removed from the list.

Ireland reported a further 761 new infections and 18 deaths on Wednesday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 236,000 and deaths to 4,705.

The country of nearly five million has administered about 820,000 doses of a Covid-19 vaccine.