A majority of passengers surveyed as they arrived at Dublin Airport last week listed returning from holiday or a visit abroad as their reason for travel.

Data taken from surveys of arriving passengers show that arrivals into the airport increased by more than 10% between 22 and 28 of February, compared to the previous week. In total 11,067 people arrived into the country during the period.

The data also showed that 7,261 Irish residents arrived into the country during this period, while 4,346 non-residents arrived.

Of the reasons given for travel, 'returning from holiday/visit' was the most popular, followed by travelling for work or business, visiting a sick relative, medical reasons, or for a funeral.

Sinn Féin's transport spokesperson Darren O'Rourke has called for mandatory quarantine for all non-essential arrivals into Ireland, saying that "nobody has confidence that those arriving will strictly adhere" to voluntary quarantine arrangements. 

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, he said essential travel is needed to maintain connectivity and for supplies, but the discretionary element "should not be happening in the middle of a pandemic".


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Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said the legislation on mandatory quarantine is expected to be signed by President Michael D Higgins very soon.

He said the Government will then move to ensure that the practical arrangements are in place to have hotel quarantine facilities managed by the State and the Defence Forces will be involved in that.

Speaking on the same programme, Mr Coveney said the Department of Health has tendered the running of hotels and transport systems to the private sector and the Defence Forces "in their role as a civil authority is to essentially be the conductor of the orchestra".

He said the Defence Forces will run a 24/7 management centre from McKee Barracks in Dublin to provide a supervisory role to ensure the contract operators are managing the system as agreed.

He said they will deal with problems as they arise and support the HSE and those who operate the system.