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Travel form declaration rules come into effect today

28 May 2020 / legislation Print

Travel form declaration rules come into effect today

Passengers arriving in Ireland from abroad from today (28 May) will have to complete a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form.

Under new regulations signed by Health Minister Simon Harris TD, failure to complete the form will be an offence.

Passengers will need to provide an address for where they will be staying in Ireland as well as personal contact details.

Follow-up checks

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 on a flight or ferry coming to Ireland.

People arriving from the North, essential workers, foreign diplomats and passengers who are transitioning through the State without leaving the port or airport will not be required to complete the form.

Passengers travelling immediately onwards to the North will have to fill out only a portion of the form.

Meanwhile, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has raised data protection and privacy concerns with the potential criminalisation of people who don’t fill out the passenger locator forms.

ICCL says it’s imperative that making these forms mandatory must be shown to be necessary, proportionate and legal – as demanded by human rights law – before any extension on 18 June.

'Trust the people'

ICCL has also said it is time for the government to trust the people of Ireland to maintain social distancing and self-isolate where necessary in order to protect others from COVID19.

The organisation called for an end to police powers under the Health Act 1947 (Section 31a – Temporary Restrictions) (Covid-19) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 on 8 June.

Government guidelines asking those who arrive in Ireland to self-isolate for a period of 14 days remain in place.

Minister Harris said the measure was aimed at limiting the risk of importing new cases through non-essential travel as COVID-19 restrictions are eased. The Government is still advising Irish citizens and residents against all non-essential international travel.

Those who fail to complete the form, provide false information or fail to update contact details during the 14-day period face a fine of up to €2,500 or up to six months in prison.

The Government is also looking at further quarantine measures, but Minister Harris said earlier this week that making it mandatory to self-isolate was "tricky, legally". 

 

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland