‘Do You Get A Breakfast? Is The Residents Bar Open?’ All Your Hotel Quarantine Questions Answered


A MERE two months after announcing they were planning a system of mandatory hotel quarantine for travellers coming into the country, the government are now just a few more weeks, a month tops, away from implementing the system and preventing the spread of new variants of Covid-19 in the country.

So what now? Who goes into quarantine, and for how long? Here’s all of your questions answered:

Why did it take so long to get up and running?

First of all, the government has come out and apologised for an unforeseen IT error that slowed the implementation of mandatory hotel quarantine for travellers.

It transpired that most hotel booking systems had a program built in that refused service to members of the Travelling community, and as such the government had to find an alternative to ‘travellers’ when describing who would be availing of the hotel rooms.

As such, ‘Quaranteenies’ was coined, and the hotels were able to start accepting applications again.

How will it differ from a regular stay at a hotel?

Although the government stresses that the MHQ stretch is not a prison sentence, quaranteenies will find the experience a lot different from their regular stays at similar hotels.

For example there will be no 4am piss-ups at the residents bar with a load of German business lads who are flying home the next day but turned out to be great craic, and there will also be a noted lack of wedding receptions to crash under the guise of ‘knowing the groom from school’.

Hotel breakfast buffets will also be hard hit, and anyone thinking that the proposed €1875 fee for their 14-night stay ‘isn’t that bad’ because they’ll ‘make their money back on sausages every morning’ is in for a rude awakening.

Swimming pool facilities are also out of bounds (cutting down on the amount of time you can sleep off a hangover while the kids amuse themselves), and gym facilities are also unavailable, and you were really going to use them this time, weren’t you?

Do I really, really have to go through all this?

The government are adamant that Mandatory Hotel Quarantine is mandatory – ‘that’s why we called it that’, explained Minister For Health Stephen Donnelly.

However there does appear to be a few loopholes that incoming passengers can exploit if the thoughts of spending two grand to stay in a hotel on a layby of the M50 for a fortnight doesn’t appeal to you. “We’re not going to gun down people at the gates” stated a spokesperson for Dublin Airport. “But y’know… people will do what’s right, won’t they? It’s not like they’re going to immediately find ways to waltz into the country, feverish and coughing, right? Who would do such a thing?”.

How much is all this going to cost again?

€1,875 per stay in a hotel for two weeks or, if you just want to enter the country you can pay the €2,000 fine and stroll on in. It’s only 125 quid extra and you were probably going to spend that on room service Pringles anyway.

No, I mean how much is this going to cost us, the taxpayer, in the long run?

Oh, fuck knows. Millions? It’s hard to say until the inevitable tribunal.