Fine Gael Senator Barry Ward has said that fully vaccinated persons should be exempt from the Mandatory hotel Quarantine requirement.
Senator Ward said: “A number of research studies, including one from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, show us that vaccinated persons are ‘very unlikely’ to pass Covid-19 on to others, so there should no longer be a requirement for them to quarantine in a hotel on arrival in Ireland.
“The Minister for Health can use his powers* to designate vaccinated travellers as a class of persons who are exempted from the requirements.
“As we see many more countries added to the list of countries from which travellers must enter mandatory hotel quarantine on arrival in Ireland, we must minimise the number of travellers needing to quarantine on the basis of science.
“Minimising the number who need to quarantine will help prevent capacity issues and avoid unnecessary penalisation of travellers who don’t actually need to quarantine,” concluded Senator Ward.
*Sections 38B-38M of the Health Act 1947 (inserted by section 7 of the Health (Amendment) Act 2021) provide for mandatory hotel quarantine for people from certain countries (defined by ministerial order) arriving in Ireland. These people are described as “applicable travellers”, and an “applicable traveller” is defined (in section 38B(1) and subject to regulations made under section 38G(1)(g)(i)) as a person, other than an exempted traveller, who arrives in the State having been in a designated state within the preceding 14 days, or without a PCR test.
An “exempted traveller” is defined in section 38B(25) and covers a number of different categories – (a) to (j) – mostly related to essential travel. Paragraph (j) of section 38B(25) includes as an exempted traveller a person or class of person “prescribed by the Minister in regulations made under section 38G”.
Section 38G(1)(d) provides for the power of the Minister fp0or Health to “prescribe a class or classes of persons as exempted travellers for the purposes of paragraph (j) of the definition of ‘exempted traveller’ in section 38B(25)”.