Mandatory quarantine for those arriving to Ireland a "desirable measure" 3 months ago

Mandatory quarantine for those arriving to Ireland a "desirable measure"

"From our perspective, anyone coming into this country should be restricting their movements."

Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn has said that a mandatory quarantine for people arriving into Ireland would be a "desirable measure", but government has to consider the "wider implications" when making such a decision.

At the Department of Health briefing on Monday evening, Dr Glynn dealt extensively with issues surrounding international travel, as Ireland enters its final scheduled week of Phase Three of the Government's roadmap.

The current public health advice for those arriving to the Republic of Ireland is to quarantine for two weeks, and all arriving are obliged to fill out a Passenger Locator Form detailing their place of residence for the period along with contact details.

However, there have been some issues with people complying with follow-up measures, with a high percentage of calls not being answered.

Green list

The government plans to publish a "green list" of countries with similar incidences of the virus next Monday, with travel to/from these countries not requiring the current 14-day quarantine period. Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said this evening that people arriving into Ireland should not be doing so if they are not in a position to self-isolate for a fortnight.

Speaking on the same issue, Dr Glynn said that "anyone who has to take a flight... and people do need to travel for a variety of reasons. But where people do have to travel for essential reasons, they know the public health guidance and they know what to do."

"I don't think it's reasonable in the context of a pandemic that could go on for many months to say that we can shut down travel completely. However, from a public health perspective, we want to stop as much, if not all, non-essential travel if at all possible", he continued.

"From a public health perspective, it's very clear that the less movement of people you have, whether locally, regionally, nationally or internationally, then the less spread of the disease there will be. That's just a fact with any infectious disease."

Mandatory quarantine?

Speaking on whether Ireland should introduce a mandatory quarantine period for those arriving into the country, Dr Glynn said that NPHET's advice on this is clear;

"From a public health perspective, mandatory quarantine would clearly be a desirable measure. But, there are wider implications and there are wider considerations for government in decision-making around the issue of mandatory quarantine.

"From our perspective, anyone coming into this country should be restricting their movements."

In relation to reports of tourists in Ireland not adhering to the quarantining measure, Dr Glynn was clear in stating that the public health advice for anyone arriving into Ireland on a holiday is to "stay in your hotel or stay in your guest house. Now is not the time to be exploring Ireland, unfortunately."