Decision to be made on extending lockdown to March 5 1 month ago

Decision to be made on extending lockdown to March 5

The Cabinet will meet to discuss restrictions today.

A decision is set to be made today on extending Ireland's lockdown to March 5.

Ministers will meet this afternoon to discuss whether to extend the current Level 5 restrictions to early March, as well as introducing mandatory hotel quarantine measures for certain passengers coming into Ireland.

The Cabinet sub-committee agreed on the proposals, which would extend lockdown and introduce a 14 day mandatory quarantine for people without a negative test or those coming from South Africa or Brazil, last night.

The prospect of at-home mandatory quarantine is also expected to be introduced for passengers coming into Ireland from all countries. As it stands, people travelling from other countries are just recommended to do so.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar told Claire Byrne last night that mandatory quarantines, if agreed upon, would likely last for one full year. He also said that they would be difficult to implement due to the UK.

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"We are not ruling out mandatory quarantine for everyone who comes into the country, but three things people need to know and understand about that," he said. "It would not be fully effective for us to do it because of the border.

"Also, it would probably be for a year, as a dramatic public health measure like that would be hard to reverse and we probably would not reverse it until everyone is vaccinated.

"So people who would like to go abroad this summer or see relatives next Christmas, that would probably be off the agenda."

He added: "Thirdly, they are detention centres, really. You can only let 500 or 600 people in a day, so some travel that we now deem essential, such as going to London for an interview, or seeing a dying relative, might not be possible."

As well as this, further checks could be introduced in airports to dissuade people from going on holidays later this year.