Written answers

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Photo of Róisín ShortallRóisín Shortall (Dublin North West, Social Democrats)
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270. To ask the Minister for Health the role his Department has in controls at ports and airports in respect of contacting and monitoring travellers entering Ireland; the reason for the delay in his Department taking over this responsibility from the Department of Justice and Equality.; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20866/20]

Photo of Róisín ShortallRóisín Shortall (Dublin North West, Social Democrats)
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285. To ask the Minister for Health the responsibility of his Department for recording and monitoring passengers entering Ireland; the role his Department plays in relation to the passenger locator form and follow-up calls to passengers; the number and grade of staff allocated for this specific purpose; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19278/20]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 270 and 285 together.

My Department has no role in controls at ports and airports in respect of contacting and monitoring travellers entering Ireland.

This role is performed by the Department of Justice and Equality: at Dublin airport, by the Border Management Unit and at other points of entry from overseas by the Garda. Follow-up telephone calls with passengers are conducted by the Border Management Unit. 

It was never envisaged or agreed that my Department would assume or perform responsibilities in relation to follow-up telephone calls being made to arriving passengers.

While it had been envisaged that the HSE might assume responsibilities for conducting such follow-up telephone calls, the DAA is now taking forward work to establish and operate a call centre to perform this work. It is still envisaged that checks will still be conducted at points of entry in relation to the completion by arriving passengers of the electronic passenger locator form, when this new e-form is introduced in August.  

The Government is committed to strengthening the existing measures for monitoring passengers who arrive into Ireland given the risks associated with international travel.

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