In response to the recent decision by the Irish government to extend the system of mandatory hotel quarantine for passengers arriving into the state to select EU member states, the President of the Youth of the European People’s Party (YEPP) and Portuguese MEP Lidia Pereira has made following statement:
“While we understand the need to ensure the spread of coronavirus is mitigated, YEPP fears that adding EU member states to Ireland’s system of Mandatory Hotel Quarantine could infringe on EU citizens fundamental right to freedom of movement across member states. I am further concerned by reports emerging of EU citizens in the MHQ system being denied the right to leave the state on urgent humanitarian grounds. Measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus must be proportionate be in line with EU law. I urge the Irish government to reconsider its decision to include EU member states this this list and, in the spirit of transparency, outline the criteria for which a country can be added or removed from the list.”
YEPP fears that this may encroach on EU citizens right to free movement through member states – but poses further issues on quarantine capacities due to the number of Irish citizens living, working, and studying within the EU. These worries, have been shared by Irish Attorney General Paul Gallagher has warned that charging EU citizens to stay in mandatory quarantine hotels may be illegal.