Two women from Ireland were arrested for allegedly refusing to go to a quarantine hotel after returning from a medical tourism trip in Dubai.
Kirstie McGrath, 30, and Niamh Mulreany, 25, left the United Arab Emirates and arrived at Dublin airport on Friday, April 2, according to Independent.ie, an Irish national media outlet.
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Refusing to go to a quarantine hotel, the couple reportedly landed at Ballymun Garda Station in Santry, Dublin.
McGrath and Mulreany were charged with violating the country’s current Health Law, according to the outlet.
In late March, Irish health authorities announced that there would be mandatory quarantines in hotels for travelers arriving from countries that were determined to be a “significant risk”. The United Arab Emirates is included in this list of 84 countries.
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“Any passenger who has been in any of these Category 2 countries in the previous 14 days, even if they are only in transit through one of these countries and even if they remain in the area of operations, is legally obliged to quarantine themselves in a designated facility (mandatory hotel quarantine) “travel guidelines posted in the Department of Foreign Affairs readings. “This applies even if the passenger receives a negative RT-PCR test result after arriving in the state. There are very limited exceptions to this requirement.”
McGrath and Mulreany appeared before Judge Miriam Walsh in Tallaght District Court on Saturday, April 4, according to Independent.ie. Their lawyer Michael French said the two women were in the United Arab Emirates for a breast augmentation and were unaware of the hotel’s quarantine mandate.
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Walsh reportedly questioned whether the surgeries were essential. Meanwhile, Irish police testimony said it took authorities two hours to explain the mandatory quarantine to the two women.
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French defended McGrath and Mulreany on the grounds that they were trying to return home to their children and had already had three negative coronavirus tests. He also questioned the constitutionality of the mandate, as people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 can self-quarantine at home rather than in a hotel.
The British Broadcasting Corporation estimated that a 12-day stay for a single adult could cost around $ 2,231.35 when the hotel’s quarantine mandate was first implemented in March.
Failure to comply with this mandate could result in a fine of $ 2,349.73 or a month in prison, according to the BBC.
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Recent posts from social media users show that the public remains divided on the issue.
“This is a dangerous ‘law’ that a dictator could put into practice. It doesn’t make sense, this is the selective burial of people,” wrote one Twitter user. “Non-traveling C-19 people can stay in their own home. Our ‘awakened’ government is using pillory methods from the Middle Ages to the Middle Ages to appease fanatics.
Meanwhile, another Twitter user wrote: “They weren’t worried about their sons when they were running out of boobs in Dubai, fair play to the judge for not taking nonsense from them.
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Data from the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard reports that more than 238,900 people in Ireland have been infected by the new coronavirus. The nation’s death count is nearly 4,730.