Millions of Americans consider Ireland a home away from home. But as the number of coronavirus cases in the United States surges, many Irish businesses say they have been forced to turn away some of their most lucrative customers — vacationing Americans.
Most visitors to Ireland, including those from the U.S., have to fill out a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form that includes their contact details while in the country and where they will be staying, NBC News reports.
They also are required to self-quarantine for 14 days, staying indoors and avoiding contact with other people as much as possible. But there are few if any checks on whether visitors actually comply with the requirement. And for many in Ireland, visitors from the U.S. seem to pose a particularly serious threat.
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COVID-19 cases have surpassed 5 million in the U.S., with several states seeing an uptick in the last 14 days.
In Florida, for example, where flights are still departing for Ireland, the coronavirus-related death rate is 6 per 100,000 cases — 30 times higher than the current rate in Ireland over the past two weeks, which is 0.2.
Ireland is one of only a few European Union countries still allowing Americans to visit at all. But, with little to no quarantine enforcement on visitors, some Irish business owners say they have had to take matters into their own hands. Across social media, many have shared similar stories of fending off American tourists who should be self-isolating but are not.
Read the full story on NBCNews.com