Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Ceisteanna (2044, 2116)

Gino Kenny


2044. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health if a person (details supplied) and their companion who are travelling abroad for vital medical reasons do not have to undergo mandatory hotel quarantining; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19678/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Eoin Ó Broin


2116. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Health if a person (details supplied) will be exempt from mandatory hotel quarantine on their return under the exemption travelling to the State for unavoidable, imperative and time-sensitive medical reasons and these reasons are certified by a registered medical practitioner or person with equivalent qualifications outside the State in circumstances in which the country they are travelling to for a certified medical treatment is added to the list. [19897/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2044 and 2116 together.

The Health Act 1947, as amended, provides that all persons arriving in Ireland from a designated state, or having travelled through a designated state in the previous 14 days, are required to undergo mandatory quarantine in a designated facility unless they are an exempted traveller under the Act.

Mandatory hotel quarantine is also necessary in circumstances where passengers coming from non-designated states do not provide evidence that they have a negative or ‘not detected’ result from a COVID-19 Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test carried out no more than 72 hours before arrival into Ireland.

At present, persons returning to Ireland from or transiting through high risk countries after receiving medical treatment abroad are not exempt from the requirement to enter the mandatory hotel quarantine.

Neither I as Minister for Health nor my Department have a role in decisions relating to whether individual persons must enter mandatory quarantine or whether individual persons are exempted travellers. All such decisions are to be determined in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

The provisions of the Act also allows for travellers to request a review of decisions relating to their quarantine; however this can only be undertaken once quarantine has begun.

The safety, wellbeing and comfort of all guests quarantining in a designated facility is a priority of the mandatory quarantine system, along with the ultimate goal of protecting public health by limiting the potential spread of COVID-19 variants of concern.

All guests undergoing mandatory quarantine in a designated facility are being provided with access to a 24/7 on-site healthcare team who hold clinical responsibility for their wellbeing during their stay. The on-site healthcare team are available to address any wellbeing concerns of guests through both scheduled daily check-in calls during a guest's stay as well as through direct engagement if requested. Guests requiring any specific, urgent or emergency care which cannot be provided on-site at a hotel may also be referred to a dedicated medical facility by the on-site healthcare team.