Ireland removes Italy, Austria from hotel quarantine list

FILE PHOTO: A passenger covers her face after getting off a designated quarantine bus at Crowne Plaza Dublin Airport Hotel, as Ireland introduces hotel quarantine programme for 'high-risk' countries' travellers, in Dublin, Ireland March 26, 2021. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo/File Photo

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland removed Italy and Austria from its list of countries where arrivals are subject to mandatory hotel quarantine but kept the measures in place for three other European Union member states despite misgivings from the EU executive.

Ireland has some of the toughest travel restrictions in the Europe and is the only one the EU's 27 countries that forces arrivals from certain countries to pay almost 2,000 euros each to quarantine for up to 14 days in a secure hotel.

The European Commission last month urged Dublin to pursue less restrictive measures and sought clarifications as to why some fellow member states were subject to the rules and others were not. Belgium, France and Luxembourg remain on the list.

Arrivals from Armenia, Aruba, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Curaçao, Jordan, Kosovo, Lebanon, North Macedonia and Ukraine will also no longer have to quarantine in a hotel, Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said in a statement.

The Irish government has said it hopes to ease the restrictions once the EU rolls out digital health passes that will permit vaccinated citizens to travel.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Christina Fincher)

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