Cabinet has agreed a tightening of Covid restrictions for travellers, but detailed legal work still to be done to make quarantine and other restrictions mandatory.
At a ministerial meeting today the following rules were agreed:
- Level 5 restrictions are to be extended until March 5.
- Checkpoints are to be established 5km from the border and near ports and airports.
- Legal obligation for all incoming passengers to restrict their movements for 14 days.
- Anyone arriving without a negative Covid test must quarantine for two weeks; failure to do so could result in a fine of up €2500 and/or up to six months’ imprisonment.
- All travel from South Africa and Brazil is suspended.
Most of the measures around quarantining were agreed in principle by ministers, but some more ‘legislative work and public health advice’ is required before the new rules will be introduced.
It was also announced that the Irish and Northern Irish authorities would share some data in relation to arrivals, and that anyone who crossed the border from the North but didn’t self-isolate for 14 days would also face fines and the possibility of imprisonment. It’s the first time since the start of the pandemic that cross-border movement will be so monitored.