If you are an Irish citizen overseas planning on returning home or if you’re an international visitor planning a trip to the Emerald Isle anytime soon your experience on touchdown will now be radically different than in previous years.
From Thursday 28 May, passengers arriving to Ireland from overseas will be required to complete what’s called a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form.
Under new regulations, signed by Minister for Health, Simon Harris, passengers arriving from overseas must complete the form and failure to do so will be an offence.
Passengers will be required to provide an address for where they will be staying in Ireland as well as personal contact details.
The forms may be used to conduct follow-up checks to make sure people who travel to Ireland are staying where they said they would.
They can also be used by contact tracing teams to contact passengers should there be a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 of a flight or ferry coming to Ireland.
In a strange turn of events, People arriving from Northern Ireland, working in defined essential supply chain roles, foreign diplomats and passengers who are transiting through the State without leaving the port or airport will not be required to complete the form.
Passengers who are travelling immediately onwards to Northern Ireland will have to fill out a portion of the form.
Government guidelines asking those who arrive in Ireland to self-isolate for a period of 14 days remain in place.
Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD said: “This is a temporary measure that is being introduced in a time of a public health crisis. The people of Ireland have managed to suppress COVID-19 in our communities, and through their actions are enabling the resumption of social and economic life.
The Government is concerned that as we move towards the easing of measures, the risk of importing new cases through non-essential travel increases. The introduction of these rules is aimed to limit this risk.Government statement on the new regulations
While many European economies are opening up again and inviting international visitors this is not something the government of Ireland is encouraging.
‘We continue 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.’
‘Like all other measures we’ve introduced during this public health crisis, the purpose of these regulations to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to protect people from this virus.’
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.
You have been warned!