Vaccinated people will be allowed skip hotel quarantine

 

People who've been vaccinated against Covid-19 will be allowed to skip hotel quarantine, after new advice from the Acting Chief Medical Officer.

Quarantine bookings reopened overnight -- but the European Commission has now launched an investigation into the legality of Ireland's hotel isolation regime.

By tomorrow night, the main quarantine contractor Tifco will have 305 more rooms ready tomorrow night -- increasing capacity by 50% to 959 rooms.

And by the last Monday in April, there will be room for 1,607 in the system.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly says he's determined to have "the strongest border biosecurity measures in Europe".

18 confirmed cases of Covid-19 have already been isolated in quarantine, four of them "probable variants of concern".

But the embassies of France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria and Italy have made a joint protest to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Italian ambassador Paulo Serpi says the quarantine list is "discriminatory" -- and will push to have his country removed.

The European Commission's also confirmed it's opening an inquiry -- and is demanding answers on how officials in Dublin have decided what EU states are on the list.

New advice from the Acting Chief Medical Officer will allow passengers who've been fully vaccinated to skip quarantine.

Several people who've been fully inoculated have already been released on the orders of the High Court.

Minister Donnelly says he'll sign new regulations to exempt them within days.