Wednesday, 31 March 2021
Department of Health
1181. To ask the Minister for Health if there has been a review of current maternity restrictions; if consideration has been given to easing maternity restrictions as Ireland moves out of the current public health guidelines in the coming months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17468/21]
1182. To ask the Minister for Health the engagements he has had with maternity hospitals regarding maternity services; the steps he has taken to ensure pregnant women are fully supported during any ease in the current restrictions; and the current situation in each maternity hospital. [17469/21]
Given the role of the HSE’s National Women & Infants Health Programme in the management, organisation and delivery of maternity and gynaecological services, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the Deputy directly, as soon as possible.
1183. To ask the Minister for Health if those in mandatory quarantine hotel facilities will be given additional breaks for exercise and fresh air if they are travelling with babies or toddlers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17472/21]
All facilities in the mandatory quarantine system have a designated outdoor area on-site which guests will be allowed to use on a scheduled basis up to three times daily, subject to their having received a 'not detected' result in their initial RT-PCR test. Additional time will be available to families with children should they request it.
Guests using the outdoor area will do so under the supervision of security staff who will escort guests to and from the area to promote adherence to the infection prevention and control protocols which underpin the mandatory quarantine system.
For persons who are unable to leave their room due to quarantine protocol restrictions, or do not wish to make use of the outdoor area, the service provider has also developed and supplied guided exercise programmes which can be undertaken in a guest's room, as well as a number of other health and wellbeing initiatives to support guests' physical and mental wellbeing.
1184. To ask the Minister for Health the reason a fully vaccinated Irish citizen returning to Ireland with a negative PCR test still has to quarantine in a hotel for up to two weeks pending another clear PCR test (details supplied); and the plan regarding same going forward. [17473/21]
The Health Act 1947, as amended, provides that all persons arriving in Ireland from a designated state, or having travelled through a designated state in the previous 14 days, are required to undergo mandatory quarantine in a designated facility unless they are an exempted traveler under the Act.
A National Oversight Group for Variants of Concern has been established to monitor and address the challenges posed by variants of COVID-19, including the potential for a difference in the effectiveness of various vaccines against those variants. Quarantine of persons arriving from areas with a high incidence of variants of concern is considered a deterrent against the emergence of such variants in the State and as such all persons arriving from those designated states are required to undergo mandatory quarantine in a designated facility, regardless of vaccination status, unless otherwise exempt.
The designation of states will be subject to ongoing review in line with the provisions of Section 38B of the Health Act 1947, which was inserted by the Health (Amendment) Act 2021.