The first passengers to face mandatory hotel quarantine in Ireland have arrived at the designated facility.
Around 20 travellers arriving into Dublin Airport earlier today were transferred by bus to the first quarantine centre at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry.
It marks the beginning of Ireland's mandatory hotel quarantine system for passengers arriving from countries flagged as high risk for Covid-19 transmission.
As of 4am this morning, all arrivals from one of the 33 countries deemed high risk by the Government will have to quarantine for 12 nights at a hotel.
Passengers were transferred from the airport by bus, which was escorted by Irish Defence Forces vehicles.
The stay at the hotel could be reduced if a person receives a negative test for the virus taken on day 10 of quarantine.
Countries on the list include Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Chile, Mauritius, Rwanda, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and Zimbabwe.
Travellers are required to pre-book accommodation in a designated quarantine facility and to pre-pay for their stay.
The booking portal for mandatory hotel quarantining went live on the Government website earlier this week.
The cost per adult traveller for a 12-night stay inclusive of all services is €1,875 for one adult.
It costs €625 for another adult (or child aged over 12) sharing the room, €360 for a child aged 4 to 12, with no charge for infants.
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The Tifco Hotel Group, which has been appointed as the service provider, will provide full board accommodation, as well as ground transportation, security services and health and wellbeing services.
The Crowne Plaza Dublin Airport Hotel was the first hotel to begin receiving quarantining travellers.
If a person does not fulfil the legal requirement for mandatory hotel quarantine they are committing an offence, and can receive a fine of up to €2,500 and/or a six-month prison sentence.
The new quarantine rules also apply to any passenger who arrives from any other country without a negative PCR test for Covid-19 carried out no more than 72 hours before they arrive in Ireland.
Those passengers will have to pay a day rate of €150.
The Defence Forces will not be involved in the everyday security or care of passengers in mandatory hotel quarantining.
According to the Government's Covid-19 guidelines, anyone who arrives into Ireland from a country not deemed high risk must quarantine at home provided they have a negative PCR test.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin has insisted that quarantine facilities "are not prisons" and Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has said that hotel staff will do their best to ensure the experience is "as comfortable as possible".
However, anyone who tries to leave their hotel quarantine unlawfully could be met with a €2,000 fine, a one-month prison sentence, or both.
Figures from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre show that 1.72% of all cases detected in the two weeks up to last Saturday were connected to travel.