Thursday, 1 April 2021
Vaccination Programme and Covid-19: Statements
I will raise two points and I hope the Minister will have time to come back to me on them. With regard to the changes to the cohorts under the vaccination programme, I have listened to what the Minister has to say but I would like him to put that information, both the study and the scientific background from the national immunisation advisory committee, NIAC, on the website so that people can see it. That is crucial.
My second point relates to something that I believe will become an issue over the next two weeks or so. Hundreds of students are doing Erasmus courses in Italy, France, Germany and all over Europe. The Minister made a statement the other day to the effect that France and other countries may be added to the list, although that has not been done yet. This has created absolutely tremendous anxiety among the students involved because they are supposed to remain in their host countries until 30 April to finish their courses. If they do not, their course may not be recognised. We are talking about something that is only three weeks away. I ask the Minister to give clarity to these students today or over the coming days and to tell them that, if mandatory hotel quarantine is brought in for arrivals from those countries, the State or their colleges will pay for it. These students cannot afford to pay €1,800 for hotel quarantine. Will the Minister do that over the coming days?