Thousands arrived in last week from countries health experts want on quarantine list

The Cabinet looks set to add several European countries as well as the USA and Canada to the States mandatory hotel quarantine list at a specially convened meeting on Friday night.
Discussions initially focused on adding countries in two tranches – firstly European countries including Italy, France, Belgium and Luxembourg before the USA and Canada next week.
However, it is understood that all countries are likely to be added from April 15th, but the USA and Canada on the basis that it is subject to capacity at hotels.
Government sources said there are currently in the region of 650 hotel rooms available now, but increasing to more th an 1,100 by the end of the month.
It is understood consideration will be given to taking Israel off the quarantine list.
The Government is also set to approve new measures to strengthen home quarantine so that passengers flying in from non high-risk countries must have a five day Covid-19 test booked with the HSE, as well as their pre-flight PCR test.
Government sources said the move to hold an unplanned incorporeal meeting at short notice was due to the level of concern around Covid-19 variants, which needs to be addressed.
Asked on RTÉs Drivetime programme about the move Minister of State Thomas Byrne said the issue of caps on arrivals was a matter for the cabinet but that was clearly a possibility that someone would have to take into account.
Earlier it was confirmed thousands of travellers came into the State from countries experts say should be subject to mandatory hotel quarantine while the Government debated additions to the list.
Figures released by the Department of Transport show that during the most recent week for which statistics are available, almost 3,000 people arrived into the State from France, Germany, Italy and the United States.
The figures cover the period from March 29th to April 4th. News of the Governments intention to expand the list to include these countries broke on March 30th.
The most arrivals came from France, with 1,300 travellers coming into either Dublin or Shannon airports that week. This was followed by the USA, with 735 arrivals, Germany with 707 and Italy with 245.
It has since been reported that both the Netherlands and Poland are being considered for inclusion on the list; a total of 2,523 people arrived into the State from those countries in that period. If those countries were to be included, the number would rise to over 5,510 arrivals in the week to last Sunday.
The push to add more countries to the list caused a bitter row between Government departments last week, with resistance particularly from the Department of Foreign Affairs to the step.
The process for adding countries is now subject to a consultation between several Government departments, but, despite ongoing concerns in some quarters, both the Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Green party leader Eamon Ryan have indicated their support for the step.
Earlier in the week Mr Martin said he is of course open to adding more EU countries to the list in the context of public health advice and particularly if there is an issue with variants of concerns.
At present Austria is the only EU Member State on the list of countries from which people entering the State must spend time in mandatory quarantine. The list is dominated by countries in South America, sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. Mr Ryan has also said more EU countries will be added to the mandatory hotel quarantine list.
On Thursday the HSE confirmed ten cases of Covid-19 have been detected among arrivals into the country who are being accommodated in hotel quarantine, since the system was established two weeks ago.
The ten cases were detected among 419 people who have been tested in hotel quarantine so far.