From next Thursday it will be a criminal offence for anyone arriving into the country not to fill in a locator form spelling out where they’ll be self-isolating.
Cabinet Ministers approved the decision this afternoon and there will be spot checks done to make sure people are isolating.
The penalties for non compliance will be a maximum 6 month jail term or a fine of 2,500 euro.
However, it won’t apply to people coming into the country from Northern Ireland.
Health Minister Simon Harris says the health implications of Covid 19 are still being felt:
”People do need to remember, I think there’s still 52 people in our intensive care units today, fighting for their lives with covid-19. There’s still people dying in our country every day from covid-19 and there’s still many people getting sick in our country. No one wants to leave restrictions in place for a minute longer than is neccesary.”
The Government continues to advise Irish citizens and residents against all non-essential international travel, and passengers arriving into Ireland from overseas are asked to self-isolate for 14 days.
Minister Harris said: “We continue to advise everyone against non-essential travel. However, if a person does arrive into Ireland, they will legally obliged to fill out this form, regardless of their nationality.
“The Form will be used to facilitate a system of follow up checks to make sure people who travel to the country are staying where they said that they would. The Form will also ensure more accurate and quicker contact tracing, should we have a confirmed case on a flight or ferry coming into Ireland.
“Every measure we take is aimed at stopping the spread of Covid-19 and protecting people from this virus. This is no different.”
The Regulations introduce new offences punishable by a fine not exceeding €2,500 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months, or both, for the following:
- Failure to complete and give the form to a relevant person
- Providing information that to the person’s knowledge is false or misleading (whether on the form, when presenting the form, or in subsequent follow-up checks)
- Failure to provide further information to a relevant person upon request (who suspects that the form has not been completed properly)
- Failure to update residence or contact details if they change within 14 days of arrival into the State.
- Passengers transiting to another jurisdiction, certified international transport workers, air and maritime pilot/masters and crew, will not have to complete the form. Individuals from Northern Ireland will have to fill out a portion of the form.
Are there any exemptions?
The following passengers arriving from outside of Ireland are not required to complete this form:
- Aircraft crew, including the pilot, who are in Ireland in the course of performing their duties
- International transport workers who:
- Have a Green Lane Annex 3 Certificate
- Are driving a Heavy Goods Vehicle
- Have a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence card, or
- Whose driving licence displays code 95.
- Ship crew, including the master, who are in Ireland in the course of performing their duties.