Thursday, 14 October 2021

Questions (142)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

142. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the number of persons including children seeking international protection who have been required to quarantine in hotels on arrival in Ireland by month to date in 2021; the number of persons that have been required to quarantine beyond 14 days; if those that receive a negative PCR test no earlier than five days after arrival are permitted to exit quarantine; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50258/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

In the table below, the Deputy can see the number of persons quarantined on arrival since January, 2021, to date. As requested, this is broken down by month. Similarly, the table sets out the numbers of persons that have quarantined beyond 14 days. The average length of stay for those staying beyond 14 days is 21 days.

New arrivals since Jan 2021

Month of Admission: 2021

No. of Admissions

No. of Participants Quarantined beyond 14 Days

January

199

91

February

115

47

March

181

47

April

146

58

May

211

85

June

277

80

July

340

91

August

517

187

September

639

198

October

265

0

Grand Total

2890

884

While mandatory quarantine arrangements have now been stepped down to a large degree, the International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS), in consultation with the HSE and Public Health, continues to retain a number of quarantine facilities in the Dublin region. This is a precautionary measure to mitigate against the risk of COVID, and any new variants, entering the National Reception Centre in Balseskin and the wider IPAS accommodation network. In agreement with the HSE and Public Health authorities at the beginning of October, the length of quarantine required for new arrivals to be cleared for transfer to Balseskin has been reduced from 14 days to 5 days, subject to two negative PCR tests on Days 1 and 5 respectively.

Due to capacity issues arising from higher than predicted numbers of new arrivals some residents may still experience delays in their transfer to Balseskin but IPAS officials assure me they are actively working through these issues with the various stakeholders involved.

The services provided by IPAS are of course demand-led and, as demand is currently running higher than predicted, these arrangements are being kept under daily review by my officials to ensure that there is sufficient accommodation to house new arrivals in the State seeking international protection.