Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Questions (531)

Neale Richmond

Question:

531. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth if his Department considers au pair participants to be essential workers; if so, if specific provisions are in place to allow them to enter the country through essential travel provisions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8323/21]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

Au Pair participants are deemed as essential workers and can continue to operate, like all other childcare providers. Childcare is essential for a parents ability to balance work with family responsibilities, especially those in the workforce on whom we rely to deliver essential services. In addition, a household of an essential worker, without an existing childcare arrangement, can form a bubble with another household for the purpose of providing childcare.

However, insofar as international travel is concerned, there is a Government Advisory in operation against all non-essential international travel, reinforced by legal measures to protect public health and to mitigate the risk of new variants of COVID-19 entering the country. Travellers arriving into Ireland must complete a passenger locator form, have evidence of a negative or ‘not detected’ result from a pre-departure PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel upon arrival, and undertake mandatory quarantine for 14 days. Travellers who arrive without a relevant test result are required to take a test within 36 hours of arrival. Further information including the very limited exemptions applying, which do not extend to au pair participants, is available on the gov.ie website: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/b4020-travelling-to-ireland-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/”