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President Michael D Higgins signs mandatory quarantine legislation into law

The law was passed in the Dáil and Seanad.

Michael D Higgins photographed last month.
Michael D Higgins photographed last month.
Image: RollingNews.ie

Updated Mar 7th 2021, 2:10 PM

PRESIDENT MICHAEL D Higgins has signed into law the legislation to bring in mandatory quarantine in a designated facility for certain passengers entering the country. 

The Health (Amendment) Bill 2021 was brought forward to the Dáil by the Health Minister Stephen Donnelly last month. 

It was passed in both the Dáil and the Seanad and has now been signed into law by the president. 

The Bill provides for a system of mandatory quarantine at designated facilities. 

People arriving into Ireland from certain countries will have to stay at designated hotels for up to 14 days.

Welcoming the news today, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said the operationalisation of the 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, Children, 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 is continuing 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 here.

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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.

With reporting by Orla Dwyer

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