The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD has welcomed the news that President Micheal D. Higgins has signed the Health (Amendment) Bill 2021, and, as such, the Bill has become law.
The Bill, that was published on Friday, 19 February and completed its passage through the Dáil and Seanad on 1 March, provides for a system of mandatory quarantine at designated facilities.
Minister Donnelly said: “The Health (Amendment) Act 2021 is another important element of Ireland’s defence against COVID-19 and I welcome today’s news that it has become law. The operationalisation of designated quarantine facilities is being advanced on a cross-departmental basis as a matter of priority.”
The Department of Health is leading the implementation process, supported by a number of Departments and agencies including Foreign Affairs, Transport, Justice, Public Expenditure and Reform, as well as Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, the Defence Forces, as well as via input from the private sector.
“The next step in this process is to finalise and sign a contract with a service provider. I anticipate this will happen shortly”, said Minister Donnelly.
The Government continues to advise against all non-essential international travel and a range of statutory measures are in place to reinforce this policy.
Passengers travelling to Ireland from certain designated states must complete a full 14-day quarantine period. This applies to all passengers from designated states, regardless of nationality and the aim of this measure is to protect the population from challenges posed by new variants of concern. A list of designated states is available on www.gov.ie./quarantine.
A National Oversight Group for Variants of Concern has been established to monitor and address the challenges posed by VOC. The Group provides advice to the Chief Medical Officer, who in turn advises the Minister for Health on countries to be specified as designated states. The list of designated states is subject to continuing review.