Ireland removes Zimbabwe from mandatory quarantine ‘high risk’ list

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DUBLIN, Ireland – The Republic of Ireland has removed a coronavirus mandatory quarantine requirement for visitors from Zimbabwe five months after the restriction was imposed.

Other African countries removed from the list of designated States for Mandatory Hotel Quarantine (MHQ) are South Africa, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Mozambique, Namibia, Tunisia and Uganda.

The lifting of the restrictions took effect on August 27.

Ireland’s health minister Stephen Donnelly issued the new travel advisory, citing falling infections in a total of 23 countries that have been removed from a “high risk” list. The others are Bangladesh, Cuba, Fiji, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Paraguay, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Uruguay.

Travellers were previously required to spend two weeks in quarantine and pay at least €1,875 (£1,614) to stay at one of 24 hotels across the republic.

Ireland’s decision will raise hopes that the United Kingdom could follow suit soon. Zimbabwe and its neighbours South Africa, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Eswatini, Lesotho and Angola have been on the United Kingdom’s “red list” since February. Travellers from these countries must quarantine in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland for two weeks on arrival at a cost of £1,750.

Zimbabwe is currently the 53rd most popular travel destination from the United Kingdom, driven by a large expat community who may find the quarantine costs too forbidding.

Zimbabwe reported 141 new Covid-19 infections and 15 deaths on Monday as the third wave continues to show signs of easing. – ZimLive