Niall Conroy: Forget diplomacy, it’s time to strong-arm the virus

Mandatory hotel quarantine is an essential pillar of Covid-19 prevention, but our diluted attempt at it is like using half an umbrella in a monsoon

The Crowne Plaza Hotel Santry in Dublin, one of the locations being used for mandatory hotel quarantine, on the first day that passengers from high-risk countries must undergo quarantine last Friday. Credit: RollingNews

In the world of communicable diseases management, simple decisions are a rarity. Whether it’s cocooning for a year, perpetual lockdown or the economic uncertainty, the last 12 months have been trying. So the idea of lumping another layer of inconvenience, in the form of mandatory hotel quarantine (MHQ) on returning travellers, was always going to be controversial.

Proponents of everything from antigen testing to improved ventilation systems, N95 masks and beyond have constantly pushed the ...