Co-leader of the Social Democrats, Catherine Murphy TD, has expressed serious concern at the high number of international passengers arriving in Ireland who are failing to provide a contact address, as required.

In reply to a Parliamentary Question from Deputy Murphy, the Minister for Transport confirmed that, between December 11 and January 3, 118,414 passengers travelled here by air, with a further 20,252 arriving by sea. Excluding passengers with exemptions, such as air crew, and those travelling onwards to Northern Ireland, just 51% confirmed their address to the Irish authorities on arrival.

Deputy Murphy said:

“We are currently seeing people being fined for travelling beyond 5km without good reason, yet 49% of passengers arriving here from abroad faced no sanctions for not providing their address. This contrast has not been lost on the public.

“While none of us likes losing our freedoms or wants to see International travel restricted, it must be remembered that we are in the middle of a pandemic. Such levels of non-compliance are extremely high-risk and may prolong the current lockdown.

“The Government is continuing to take a fingers-crossed approach to international travel and the lack of enforcement or supervised quarantine arrangement are matters of great concern. Passengers arriving here from the UK, South Africa and South America are simply being ‘advised’ to restrict their movements – but how can we be sure they are complying?

“These risks have to be managed until the vaccine provides the protection needed for us to return to some semblance of normality.

“We also know that an all-Island approach to Covid-19 is needed, yet we are not providing the information that has been repeatedly sought from our Northern counterparts about passengers arriving into Dublin and then travelling across the border.”

January 21, 2021

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