Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Questions (470)

Neale Richmond

Question:

470. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Health the measures in place to restrict and control travel from the UK and South Africa to prevent further spread of the Covid-19 strains found there; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2253/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Passengers arriving to Ireland from overseas are required to complete a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form and to present evidence of a negative PCR test. The contact information from the locator form can be used to distribute targeted public health information via SMS.

Public health advice for arrivals from Great Britain, South Africa and Brazil is to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival and to contact a GP to arrange a COVID-19 test. The test will be free of charge. The test will help to identify positive cases and for those to be sent to the NVRL for genome sequencing to see if any variants of concern are identified in Ireland. Regardless of the result of the test, people who have recently travelled from these countries should self-isolate for the full 14 days.

Passengers who have travelled from these countries have been sent SMS messages in order to bring this advice to their attention. In the case of passengers travelling from Brazil, the messages were sent in both English and Brazilian Portuguese.

The Government continues to give close consideration to potential travel policy and restrictions to limit the spread of these new COVID-19 variants to Ireland.