Hotel quarantine might make a comeback after new variant emerges
It is being considered.
Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has said that hotel quarantine could make a return if needed to deal with the new South African variant.
Saying that if it's needed, "then that's what we will do," this comes after the Covid advisor for the Irish College of General Practitioners warned that if the new variant "out runs" Delta, there will be "a problem".
It is still unknown if vaccines are strong enough to work against the new variant, which is why so much attention is currently on this, she told Newstalk.
Speaking on RTÉ radio's Morning Ireland, Professor Christine Loscher, an immunology expert, said that she expects the World Health Organisation to move the status of the new variant to one of concern.
The new variant is currently one of interest by the WHO, and one of concern due to the number of mutations in the spike proteins, and remains unclear how it will respond to vaccines.
Loscher said that it is a case of wait and see.
HSE cheif executive Paul Reid said on both Newstalk Breakfast and RTÉ radio's Morning Ireland that when it comes to hotel quarantine, the HSE will wait for Nphet to communicate with Government to make a decision.
He added that giving the vaccine to children was the HSE's next step in fighting Covid, acknowledging that this may be a difficult decision for parents.
The HSE has a plan in place, with a lower dose vaccine ready to go for children which is likely to arrive in Ireland in late December.
Reid also noted that children going to emergency departments in hospitals was up 70% from the same time two years ago, many citing respiratory illnesses rather than Covid but this was still putting huge pressure on the health system.