The Minster for Foreign Affairs has said it was "not ideal" that three people attempted to abscond from mandatory hotel quarantine yesterday but that every country has had problems with the system. 

Speaking on RTÉ's This Week, Simon Coveney said the Government is trying to create as normal an atmosphere as possible in the facilities "rather than some sort of military detention centre".

He said the system was not straightforward, which, he said, is why no other country in the EU is doing it 

Mr Coveney said the agencies involved are committed to making it work but the Defence Forces were not there to stop people leaving.

The minister said if anyone is leaving the centre, gardaí would be notified and that they would "take appropriate action".

Responding to criticisms of the conditions in the hotel, in particular for families, Minister Coveney said it is the responsibility of the hotel group Tifco "to look after people appropriately".

He said while the system was supposed to be a deterrent to people travelling and they are not facilities people would look forward to staying in, the State would have to ensure minimum standard are guaranteed, in particular for children.

He said an inspection and supervision system will be in place as part of the system. 

Mr Coveney said another 34 people are due to enter the system today. 

Two of the three people who left mandatory hotel quarantine yesterday are back in the facility.

A search for the other person is continuing.

A spokeswoman for the Defence Forces said there were two separate incidents where people attempted to leave the Crowne Plaza hotel in Santry in north Dublin yesterday.

In the first incident, one individual left the facility alone. 

Gardaí were informed and later located the person, who is now back in hotel quarantine.

In the second incident, two people attempted to leave the facility and while one of those people returned to the hotel, the other person left the premises and has still not been located

The Defence Forces said it is not the lead agency at the facility and that the Department of Health is the body responsible for the mandatory hotel quarantine system.

The Department of Health has not responded to requests for further information on the incident.