Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
1076. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the implications of the Covid-19 outbreak for the transport of goods into and through Italy; the discussions he has had with his EU counterparts on the implications for the transport sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3872/20]
The Deputy may wish to be aware that the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade outlines, in respect of travel to Italy, notes that "there has been an increase in the number of confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Italy. As a result, the Italian government has isolated the towns of Codogno, Castiglione d’Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo and San Fiorano (which are in Lombardy) and Vo’ (which is in Veneto). In a wider area comprising Lombardy and Veneto, as well as Emilia-Romagna and Piedmont, certain public services, tourist attractions, bars, restaurants and/or cultural events etc. may be curtailed depending on decisions taken by local authorities. For the moment, we are advising against non-essential travel to the regions of Lombardy, Veneto, Piedmont and Emilia-Romagna". The website further notes that "implemented measures may vary depending on the region. The website for each region of Italy will have more information, and citizens should consult these accordingly".
Representatives from the Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) met officials from my Department on 27 February in the context of Brexit, with the IRHA noting also at that meeting that some truck parking/rest areas for HGV drivers in these areas in Northern Italy may be closed, meaning drivers might be required to drive to alternative parking areas elsewhere, in order to take their required rest or break. This could impact, for example, on drivers’ hours rules, and is a matter for the Italian authorities in the first instance. My officials asked that the IRHA keep in touch on this matter, should the situation evolve.
The Department of Health is the lead Government Department in relation to public health matters, including Covid-19. Measures to protect public health are decided by the National Emergency Public Health Team within the Department of Health, and we follow their advice. All queries in relation to public health should therefore be directed to the Department of Health. You can find more information from the HSE and the Health Protection Surveillance Centre here: and here: .