DUBLIN, Ireland Irish residents returning from the South African region where a novel Covid variant has been discovered will be subjected to home quarantine and PCR testing.
It's one of many new safeguards regarding concerns about the new Omicron strain's transmission levels.
There are presently no direct flights from any of the affected countries to Ireland.
The government has decided that the country will follow the EU's advice to impose an "emergency brake" on travel to and from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.
The Department of Justice is revising visa criteria for seven countries, and the Department of Foreign Affairs has updated its travel advice to "avoid non-essential travel" to those countries.
Meanwhile, the administration intends to reintroduce legislation to reinstate the mandatory hotel quarantine system (MHQ) in the coming weeks.