The hotel group operating the State’s quarantine system has been told to prepare additional capacity with the Cabinet set to add more countries to the quarantine list.
he Tifco Hotel Group has been told to expect more guests in the coming weeks following the internal Government row over adding EU countries to the quarantine list.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan both said they expected countries to be added to the quarantine list when the Cabinet meets next week.
The comments from the two leaders follows concerns raised by the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney about adding to the list.
Last week, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly proposed to add the US, France, Germany and Italy to the list.
However, this move was opposed by Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney.
Mr Coveney said further consultation and discussion would be needed with the EU before countries could be added.
He also suggested the country does not have the capacity to add more countries and raised concerns about how it could impact on Erasmus students.
There were also claims the Attorney General Paul Gallagher raised concerns about the legality of charging EU citizens for quarantining.
Ministers are looking at shortening hotel stays for arrivals who produce several negative tests, how it should apply to those who have been vaccinated and if there is a way to beef up mandatory quarantine at home.
Yesterday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin confirmed he is “absolutely” open to increasing the number of countries on the quarantine list a week into a row between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael over imposing the rules on more EU countries
Mr Martin said he “does not anticipate” any legal difficulties with adding additional countries where there are concerns about new variants.
He said officials are currently ensuring that public health advice on adding more countries can be done within the hotel quarantine legislation enacted by the Dáil.