The USA, France and Germany look set to be added to Ireland's mandatory hotel quarantine list from next week.
The move has caused some concern in tourism circles as the three countries are major markets for Ireland.
Sources said that the issue, which had caused division among the Cabinet had been "mostly sorted" at a high-level meeting of officials today. Government sources said that scaling up the operations of the quarantine facilities, run by hotel group Tifco, required a level of training and preparation for staff and state bodies.
Two hotels are currently being used for mandatory quarantining, and the hotel chain has another two hotels set aside if they are required. More accommodation available if it is needed. Sources said that modelling is undertaken to decide the number of hotel rooms needed on a given day.
Health minister Stephen Donnelly had said that EU countries which have variants should be added to the hotel quarantine list. He added that Ireland was "looking at" the USA, France, and Germany, but did not include Italy in that list.
"The system opened up two weeks ago," he said. "In the first week of operation, we added 33 countries. Last week, with the second week of operation, I added another 26 countries.
"This week, we're going through a consultation process on what would be the most significant countries.