Tuesday, 7 July 2020
Department of Justice and Equality
Direct Provision System
659. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if her attention has been drawn to the nature, duration and extent of an agreement between a hotel (details supplied) and her Department; the length of time the arrangement will last; the purpose of the arrangement; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14632/20]
In early March 2020, as part of my Department’s rapid response to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, an examination of all offers of suitable accommodation was undertaken. This included the premises mentioned by the Deputy, which had previously been visited by a senior official.
A range of accommodation options were urgently brought on stream to reduce density in our centres and to protect anyone who may have been at risk. A number of new permanent accommodation centres were opened and a number of hotels were contracted to offer additional capacity as a temporary measure.
In addition, my Department, in conjunction with the HSE, opened four self-isolation facilities in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Dundalk. These facilities offer increased supports, including medical and social service supports, to residents who may be at risk and/or need to self isolate.
Initial contracts are on a renewable roll over basis for three months at a time. This remains under review and will be subject to demand for suitable accommodation and the evolution of the pandemic response.