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Covid-19 Pandemic

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 17 November 2020

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Ceisteanna (196)

Neale Richmond

Ceist:

196. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Transport if he has considered the restriction of travel to and from Denmark due to the Covid-19 developments there; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36218/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As the Deputy is aware, the Government has developed a framework around the EU “traffic light” system, which was adopted at EU level on 13th October.  As part of this, people arriving into Ireland from EU green regions do not have to restrict their movement for 14 days. All other passengers must continue to restrict their movements for 14 days unless they are exempted essential workers. The Government also aligned with the updated list of exempted categories of traveller with essential function or need within the EU recommendation.  

The requirement for those arriving from EU orange regions to restrict their movements can be waived, if they have a negative COVID-19 test result from a test taken up to three days before arrival.

From  midnight 29th November, arrivals from an EU red/grey region and third countries will not be expected to restrict movements following receipt of a negative/not-detected result from a COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test taken a minimum of five days after arrival in Ireland. This provision will also be available to arrivals from orange regions who may not have availed of a pre-departure test. 

There are a number of COVID-19 testing technologies currently available or emerging on the commercial market. However, subject to the ongoing review of testing by NPHET and Government, a negative result from a COVID-19 PCR test is the only test result that means the passenger is not expected to follow advice to restrict movements. Testing technology and delivery options for facilitating international travel will be kept under review. 

Testing provision under Ireland’s framework for international travel will not be provided through the public health system, but rather will be met by the private commercial sector testing supply on a user pays basis.  As the availability of testing cannot be guaranteed intending passengers wishing to avail of a test should seek an early appointment for a test in advance of travel.

The Passenger Locator Form, administered by the Department of Health, remains in place for all persons arriving into the State regardless of the "colour" of the location they are arriving from.  Essential transport workers continue to be exempt from completing the form.  The introduction of an online form supports an enhanced system of engagements with arriving passengers. The main purpose of the form is for the targeting of key public health messages to arriving passengers through SMS and email.

Passengers arriving into Ireland from Denmark are advised of the need to take additional precautions aimed at limiting the spread of the newly discovered virus variant in Denmark of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Anyone arriving to Ireland from Denmark should ensure that they follow the existing guidance to restrict movement for a period of 14 days following their arrival into Ireland. This requirement does not apply to international transport workers in the aviation, maritime and road haulage sectors.

In addition, should any traveller from Denmark develop any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 they should phone their GP immediately and alert them of their recent visit to Denmark. Information on arriving in Ireland from abroad, will be made available h`ere .

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