Written answers

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Photo of Michael McNamaraMichael McNamara (Clare, Independent)
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339. To ask the Minister for Health the list of states from which arrivals at ports and airports in the State are required to quarantine clarifying in each case whether the quarantine is required due to the prevalence Covid-19, the prevalence of variants of the disease or both, respectively; and the rate of Covid-19 prevalence or variants’ prevalence, respectively that resulted in each state’s designation. [17846/21]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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Persons arriving to Ireland from overseas are required to quarantine, subject to a number of exemptions. Those arriving from higher risk states or who have not complied with pre-departure test requirements are required to complete quarantine in a designated facility. Other passengers are subject to home quarantine requirements. Limited exemptions from these requirements are set out in the Act and in SI No.135/2021.

Prior to the passing of the Health (Amendment) 2021, states had been specified as Category 2, within the meaning of SI 44/2021, following recommendations made by the CMO to the Minister for Health. 33 territories were specified as Category 2 states following consultation with the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

An Expert Advisory Group on Travel was established on 1 March and has taken a risk-based approach to inform recommendations to the Chief Medical Officer, who in turn makes recommendations to the Minister for Health on countries to be made designated states under the amended Health Act 1947 Health Amendment Act 2021. This approach considers factors including the risk of sustained human transmission of COVID-19, as measured by the 14-day incidence in that country relative to that in Ireland, in addition to the risk of importation of a variant of concern and/or variant of interest based on the actual or potential prevalence of such variants.

The designation of states will be subject to ongoing review in line with the provisions of Section 38E of the Health Act 1947, which was inserted by the Health (Amendment) Act 2021. The Government and public health advice is to avoid all non-essential international travel.


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