Thursday, 11 February 2021

Questions (127)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

127. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the steps he is taking to prevent travellers from Dubai, Portugal and other locations from using Dublin Airport as a back door to the UK; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7822/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

All passengers arriving into Ireland are required to have a negative/'not detected’ result from a pre-departure COVID-19 RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Ireland. Passengers are also asked to present evidence of their negative/‘not detected’ result before boarding their airplane or ferry, and are required to produce this evidence to Immigration Officers on arrival at points of entry to the State. These rules apply to individuals who travel to Ireland from the United Arab Emirates and Portugal. Additional requirements currently apply to travel to Ireland from South Africa or Brazil.

Any passengers coming into Ireland from overseas and travelling onwards to Northern Ireland must complete a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form, available online. The Government's official advice, as stated on Gov.ie, is that such "passengers travelling to Northern Ireland must ensure that they are familiar with the guidance and regulations in place, including the completion of a UK Passenger Locator Form".

New regulations signed by the Minister for Health on 5 February require passengers transiting to Northern Ireland to provide full contact details, including address information. As arrangements are finalised on data-sharing, an interim measure has been agreed whereby the Department of Health will provide a text message service to passengers who travel from this jurisdiction onwards to Northern Ireland.

Passengers who arrive in Ireland solely for the purpose of travelling to another State and do not leave the airport are not required to provide evidence of a test. However, they will be subject to the public health regulations at their final destination.

Irish authorities are in daily communication with UK counterparts to advise of transiting traffic so that the appropriate public health measures are put in place on arrival, including for UK nationals and residents. The UK has not imposed a ban on residents returning home.

There are ongoing discussions at official and political level with the British Government and the Northern Ireland Executive on COVID-19 and travel issues.