As Americans Break the Rules, Ireland Looks at Changes

Businesses says US tourists aren't quarantining after landing
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 13, 2020 8:00 PM CDT
Ireland Finds US Tourists Breaking Rules
Owner Niall Lawless of Mary Mac's pub in Dublin puts up social distancing signs last month.   (Niall Carson/PA via AP)

Ireland will consider tougher coronavirus restrictions after anger has risen over US tourists breaking the rules. Visitors are supposed to quarantine for 14 days, but owners of pubs, hotels, and restaurants took to Twitter over the weekend to say they'd sent Americans away, SkyNews reports. "Had to cancel guests booked on guided tour today who just arrived from the US and didn’t think 14 days self isolation was ‘mandatory,'" a bike rental tweeted. "These people are in the country and socialising." A pub in Galway posted, "We refused a group of Americans yesterday who admitted that they had just flown in." One restaurateur tweeted that he backs a petition to stop flights from the US until it gets the outbreak under control. He served a group from Texas, he said, though "we have no way of knowing if they just arrived and should be self-quarantining. Staff very uncomfortable. We need a decision on this particularly if people are coming from places with high cases."

Irish health officials reported that 17 of 23 new coronavirus cases last week were "travel-related," per the Irish Post, as horror stories multiplied. Gregans Castle Hotel in County Clare reported sending away two Americans for dinner: "They were renting a house in the area and had flown straight in from Denver." And more tourists are arriving: Roughly 4,000 people landed daily at Dublin's airport last week, after 1,200 a day the week before. "There's work to be done," Ireland's tourist minister said. "The cabinet will be discussing measures this week that may be needed, such as strengthening measures at airports, ahead of issuing a possible green list of countries." An opposition leader called the existing sytem dangerous because "that system does not distinguish between safe countries and countries like the US." (Matt Damon spent his quarantine in a small coastal town.)

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