Ireland is going to relax coronavirus or COVID-19 quarantine restrictions on people traveling from abroad on July 20, with people arriving from a 'green list' of nations of countries with low COVID-19 rates to be exempt from isolating themselves for 14 days, the transport minister Eamon Ryan mentioned.

The government stated in June that the restrictions will be relaxed from July 9, but Ryan mentioned this had been delayed because of the concern about travel-related infections.

Ireland Delays Relax COVID-19 Quarantine Restrictions

Coronavirus
Workers make face masks in the workshop of a textile company in Jimo District of Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, Feb. 12, 2020. Qingdao Municipal Bureau of Industry and Information Technology has mobilized two large textile companies to produce face masks to help the fight against the novel coronavirus epidemic. With the help and coordination of local authorities, the companies have retrofitted their production equipment and modified the assembly lines to produce face masks. It's expected that an average of 60,000 face masks could be produced per day in the first phase of production. (Photo by Liang Xiaopeng/Xinhua/IANS) Xinhua/IANS

"A so-called green list... will be published on July 20, or prior to that," Ryan said in an interview with Newstalk radio station on Sunday. "The green list will be operating after that" date, he said. Neighboring Britain on Friday ended coronavirus quarantines for people arriving in England from more than 50 countries.

Ryan said Ireland would drop the quarantine for countries whose infection rates "are similar if not better than our own." Ireland now has one of the lowest infection rates in Europe, with just three infections per 100,000 people during the past two weeks, so the list of exempted countries is likely to be much shorter than England's, government ministers have indicated.

Ryan said that the government was considering "a certain element of testing" for COVID-19 at airports, but that every visitor would not be tested. Ireland did not want an "avalanche" of Irish people traveling abroad and said the government would continue to encourage people to take holidays at home, he said. To date Ireland has recorded 25,498 cases of COVID-19, with 1,740 deaths.

(With agency inputs)