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Simon Coveney said it was Great Britain is “unlikely” to make the Republic of Ireland’s list of countries exempt from quarantine rules.

Great Britain is “unlikely” to make the Republic of Ireland’s list of countries exempt from quarantine rules, Simon Coveney has said.

The Irish government is set to publish a “green list” of countries on Monday.

Irish authorities currently require anyone coming into the Republic of Ireland, apart from those from Northern Ireland, to self-isolate for 14 days.

The foreign affairs minister also said there was “no question” the United States would not make the list.

There were three further deaths linked to coronavirus in the Republic in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths there to 1,752.

There were 34 confirmed additional cases of Covid-19.

‘Really unfortunate’

Last week, Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Micheál Martin told BBC NI’s Sunday Politics he had concerns about travel between Great Britain and Ireland.

Speaking to Newstalk radio on Friday, Mr Coveney said decisions were not being taken “on the basis of politics”.

“I think it’s very unlikely our closest neighbour [the UK] will be under that threshold that we set,” he said.

“That’s really unfortunate because the two countries we would like to be opening up to in terms of international travel are the UK and US, given the integration between our economy and those two countries.

“It’s on the basis of epidemiological data and numbers, so we can compare Ireland to other countries.

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Media captionIrish PM has “issues” with travel from Great Britain

“Then we can put people on a green list that we regard as representing no higher risk than Ireland represents.”

He added that the Irish government would look at data such as number of cases per 100,000 and would consider changing protocols in airports.

“If the decision is made to open a green list we are also looking at working with airports to make sure there is is a much more visible presence informing people of their obligations when they come to Ireland,” he said.

The minister also said the Irish government would look at making Covid-19 testing available for travellers arriving in the Republic of Ireland.

Last week, the Stormont Executive agreed changes to its quarantine rules, meaning people arriving into NI from more than 50 countries no longer need to self-isolate on arrival.

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