Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, last night signed regulations that will introduce a system of mandatory quarantine for arrivals into the State. These regulations apply since midnight on

The regulations give effect to the recent Government decision to implement a regime for mandatory quarantine at home.

Under these regulations, passengers who arrive from any destination must quarantine for 14 days at the address specified on their Passenger Locator Form, with penalties for non-compliance. These penalties are a fine of up to €2,500 or 6 months in prison, or both.

Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, said:The clear Government and public health advice is that everybody should avoid non-essential travel completely. Last night, I signed additional regulations that puts mandatory quarantine at home on a statutory footing. All travellers into the country must now adhere to staying at home and enforcement will be a matter for An Garda Síochána.

He continued:

Additionally, our public health advice is that people subjected to mandatory quarantine should self-isolate within their homes to assist in protecting those around them. Further work on additional legislation to implement mandatory quarantine at a designated facility for those arriving from countries with variants of concern, such as Brazil and South Africa is being progressed and will be implemented as soon as possible.

There are limited exemptions from quarantine for essential reasons, but only as strictly necessary, this is not a general exemption. Those exempted are expected to follow quarantine at all other times. Exemptions include workers for repair and maintenance of critical infrastructure.

Additionally, the Minister for Health, acting on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer, will have the power to designate countries from which travel represents a public health risk due to the presence of variants of concern. These states are category 2 states and additional travel restriction apply to travellers arriving. There are no exemptions for arrivals from category 2 states to break quarantine, except for emergency reasons, for example a person who travels to the State for unavoidable, imperative and time-sensitive medical reasons.

Countries where there is a high prevalence of variants of concern are category 2 states. Currently, Brazil and South Africa are categorised as such. Travellers from these areas must observe the full period of isolation.

These regulations also extend the mandatory requirement for all arriving passenger to have a negative PCR test. It is an offence not to have evidence of this test; you may be fined up to €2,500 or receive a prison sentence of 6 months, or both. There are very limited exemptions from this test requirement including for essential transport workers, Gardaí and Defence Forces personnel in the course of their duties.

Anyone who does arrive without a RT-PCR, is required to take a test within 36 hours of arrival. It is an offence not to take the test and can result in a fine of up to €2,500 or a prison sentence of up to 6 months, or both.

 Persons who travel from another State, and into the State via Northern Ireland, will be required to have a not-detected PCR test result and to observe the statutory quarantine regime.

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