The Minister for Higher and Further Education, Simon Harris, has announced that the Government will be funding the mandatory hotel quarantine payments for Erasmus students that are studying in EU member states. The bill is expected to cost the government up to €1 million.

In a statement from Harris on RTE Radio, the Minister stated that he does not want students to “put a hand in their pocket” and also urged Erasmus students not to panic, urging students not to fly home before the ruling comes in on Thursday April 15th.  The details on the plan will be published in the coming days.

Of the 1000 + students currently on the Erasmus programme, up to 550 students in countries such as France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, and Austria will be covered by the Department of Education’s €1 million fund.

With the 2-week mandatory hotel quarantine costing €1875 per person, Erasmus students such as Aoife and Tori from UCD, will be happy with the news.

Aoife, a UCD Law student currently on the Erasmus programme, spoke on Claire Byrne live about the predicament that students were left in.

Aoife said that “hanging on” in the hope that the government would fund the costs, was “too big of a gamble” prior to the announcement. Aoife later stated that while it was a good move by the government, it was “too little too late” for some students who had already booked their flights home in a bid to avoid the mandatory hotel quarantine.

Tori, a UCD student on Erasmus in Rome, believes that it was “up to the government to pay for Erasmus students quarantine” and that she had planned to extend her stay because “the rent was cheaper in Rome than the cost of the mandatory quarantine”.

Luke Murphy, Co-Editor.