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Covid-19 Pandemic

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 December 2021

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Questions (355)

Pádraig O'Sullivan

Question:

355. Deputy Pádraig O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the supports his Department will provide for Irish tourists that may have either a positive antigen or PCR test for Covid-19 within a 72 or 48 hour timeframe of their scheduled return to Ireland and will not be able to travel home in such circumstances. [61513/21]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

My Department provides consular assistance to all Irish citizens in distress overseas where requested. This includes confidential advice and support in relation to illness or any emergency situation, in line with the principles of our Consular Assistance Charter.

Irish citizens who test positive for Covid-19 while travelling abroad are advised to follow the local public health guidance in their destination until the required period of quarantine has ended. Any citizen who tests positive would not be in a position to return to Ireland during this period as this would be in breach of regulations and would contravene public health guidance.

Citizens who test positive for Covid-19 while travelling abroad who have not been issued with a recovery certificate may travel to Ireland with a positive RT-PCR result. The result must be more than 10 days and less than 180 days old when travelling to Ireland. Since 5 December, citizens in this position are also required to show a negative antigen test result from a test taken within 48 hours prior to arrival. Citizens who test positive for Covid-19 while travelling abroad and who have been issued with a recovery certificate may travel to Ireland with this certificate and the relevant negative antigen test result.

Public health advice is that a person showing a residual positive with a PCR test is unlikely to test positive with an antigen test if they have recovered from COVID-19.

Concerned citizens in this situation should contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate for advice and consular assistance. While our Embassies and Consulates cannot provide medical advice, consular officials can provide citizens with information on local health supports in the context of COVID-19, including details of English-speaking doctors where required.

Requirements for individuals travelling to Ireland in the context of COVID-19, including the requirement for those arriving to Ireland to have a negative/not-detected COVID-19 test result, are a matter for the Department of Health. My Department continues to work closely with the Department of Health to ensure that appropriate advice and support is provided to Irish citizens overseas.

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