The Irish Refugee Council has raised concerns about people arriving in Ireland to seek international protection or asylum status who are being kept in mandatory quarantine longer than the required period.

Figures obtained by Independent TD Catherine Connolly through parliamentary questions last week show that 884 people out of a total of 2,890 people have stayed in quarantine beyond the 14 days.

The average length of stay for those staying beyond 14 days is 21 days.

Mandatory hotel quarantine ended in Ireland in September but some quarantine measures have been retained, in agreement with the HSE, for people arriving who are not in possession of a recognised vaccination certificate or negative PCR test.

The Department of Children said quarantine procedures for international protection applicants are in line with any traveller to Ireland not in possession of required documentation as stipulated under virus mitigation measures.

In response to Ms Connolly's question the Minister for Children Roderic O'Gorman said that due to the higher than expected number of arrivals capacity issues at the Balseskin centre, where asylum seekers stay when they arrive here, have arisen.

The Minister said: "IPAS officials assure me they are actively working through these issues with the various stakeholders involved."

CEO of the Irish Refugee Council Nick Henderson is urging the Government to move people out of quarantine as soon as health regulations allow.

"We understand that it is a not a specific policy to keep people in quarantine, rather a consequence of the lack of capacity in Balseskin reception centre.

"However, the situation is very concerning and should not continue, particularly in the case of children and vulnerable people."