Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (837)

Richard Boyd Barrett


837. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Health if he will provide clarity on the definition and classification of essential travel; and the details of the steps that a person who has health or mental health issues that needs to travel from the UK to Ireland needs to do in order that they are complying to guidelines. [6917/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I signed new regulations titled S.I. No. 29 of 2021 Health Act 1947 (Section 31A - Temporary Restrictions) (COVID-19) (No 10) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2021 on Friday 29 January, which detail reasonable excuses for travel to an airport or port for purpose of leaving the State:

- To work, comply with a contract of employment or contract for services, or otherwise engage in work or employment

- To provide services to, or perform the functions of, an office holder appointed under any enactment or under the Constitution, or a member of either House of the Oireachtas, the European Parliament or a local authority

- To provide services essential to the functioning of diplomatic missions and consular posts in the State

- To attend, for educational reasons a primary or secondary school, or a university, higher education institution or other education and training facility, to the extent that it is necessary for such educational reasons to attend in person

- To accompany any other person residing with the person, or a vulnerable person, to one of the education facilities mentioned above

- To attend a medical or dental appointment, or accompany, to such an appointment, any other person residing with the person, or a vulnerable person

- To seek essential medical, health or dental assistance for the person, for any other person residing with the person, or for a vulnerable person

- To attend to vital family matters (including providing care to vulnerable persons)

- To attend a funeral

- To fulfil a legal obligation (including attending court, satisfying bail conditions, or participating in ongoing legal proceedings), attend a court office where required, initiate emergency legal proceedings or execute essential legal documents

- if the person is a parent or guardian of a child, or a person having a right of access to a child, to give effect to arrangements for access to the child by the person, or another person who is -

(I) a parent or guardian of the child, or

(II) a person having a right of access to the child,

where the person is not ordinarily resident in the State, to leave the State.

Additionally, all arrivals into Ireland from overseas (with limited exemptions) are required to present a COVID-19 passenger locator form, evidence of a negative pre-departure RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel upon arrival, and are required to quarantine for 14 days at the address given on their Passenger Locator Form.

Patients who can show that they are travelling to Ireland for an urgent medical reason are exempt from the requirements to present a negative PCR test and complete the quarantine period. They are advised to observe quarantine at times when not attending a health care facility for treatment.