Covid-19: Simon Harris confirms new travel measures for passengers arriving from overseas

By Steve Neville

Simon Harris has confirmed that it will be obligatory for passengers arriving from overseas to complete a Covid-19 Public Health Passenger Locator Form.

It was announced today the regulations will come into effect from Thursday, May 28 and they will remain in place until June 18.

The Department of Health said that the Form will ensure more accurate contact tracing, should there be a confirmed case on a flight or ferry coming into Ireland.

Irish citizens are still being advised against all non-essential international travel, and passengers arriving into Ireland from overseas are asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

Mr Harris said: "These are extraordinary measures but they are necessary in a time of a public health crisis.

"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 Department of Health said that the regulations introduce new offences punishable by a fine not exceeding €2,500 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six 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, a statement said.

It added that individuals from Northern Ireland will have to fill out a portion of the form.