Thursday, 8 October 2020

Ceisteanna (267)

Róisín Shortall


267. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health when the decision was taken to change the policy for passenger locator form follow-up calls in order that the purpose of these calls was no longer to monitor the movements of incoming passengers but only to provide public health messages; the rationale behind this policy decision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29394/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form is provided for under Statutory Instrument 181/2020 which came into effect 28 May 2020. Section 6 (3) of S.I. No. 181/2020 states:

‘ A relevant person may, during a relevant period, request an international passenger to confirm –

(a) where the international passenger is currently residing, and (b) where a child, in relation to whom the international passenger has completed a Covid-19 Passenger Locator Form, is currently residing.’

Statutory Instrument 181/2020 is amended by Statutory Instrument 314/2020 in order to provide for the online version of the form, however the requirements section 6 (3) continue to apply.

SI 314/2020 inserts a new additional regulation:

Provision of public health information to international passengers

6A. A relevant person may, during a relevant period, contact an international passenger by way of telephone call, text message or email using the contact details provided in the Covid-19 Passenger Locator Form completed by the international passenger in order to provide the international passenger with public health information relevant to -

(a) the international passenger, or

(b) a child in relation to whom the international passenger completed a Covid-19 Passenger Locator Form."

The amended regulations, and the collection of data in an electronic format, supports the targeting of key public health messages by SMS to people arriving from overseas who may not be aware of the latest public health guidance applying in Ireland, or how they can access help here if they experience symptoms.