Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
54. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his plans to assist Irish citizens quarantined in areas in which there is an outbreak of Covid-19; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3882/20]
My Department has been providing ongoing consular advice and assistance to our citizens overseas who have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Our consular efforts were initially focused on Irish citizens in Hubei Province in China but, with the continuing spread of the virus, these have evolved to include a wide range of countries around the world.
We are working closely with domestic, EU and international partners to ensure that we provide the most effective and appropriate support to our citizens where required.
It would not of course be appropriate to discuss the details of any particular consular case. My Department's priority, as always, is to protect the safety and welfare of our citizens overseas. To this end, we are liaising very closely with the public health authorities in Ireland, and taking into account the information and advice provided by the World Health Organisation and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
In those countries where Irish citizens have been or might be quarantined overseas or affected in other ways, our practice is to engage with the relevant local authorities through our Embassies and Consulates on the ground, to provide the most useful consular advice and assistance. We will continue to do this in close coordination with the Department of Health, the HSE and other relevant domestic partners.
We will also continue to liaise closely with EU and international partners and to coordinate our efforts where possible and if helpful.