More EU countries to be added to Ireland's hotel quarantine list - minister

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FILE PHOTO: Irish FM Coveney and his German counterpart Maas attend news conference in Berlin

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Travellers to Ireland from more European Union countries will be subjected to mandatory hotel quarantine in the coming days in an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19 variants, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Thursday.

The government last week added 26 countries to the list of arrivals who must spend up to 14 days in a hotel room but stopped short of a recommendation by health officials to include the United States, Germany, Italy and France, countries where large numbers of Irish nationals live.

"What this is about is ensuring that when we - because I think it's when, not if we extend the list of countries and that is going to include more EU countries - that we are ready for that and can deal with the capacity issues that are undoubtedly going to flow from it," Coveney told national broadcaster RTE.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Alex Richardson)