Thursday, January 14, 2021

Just 16 per cent of people who travelled into the Republic over the Christmas and New Year period received follow-up calls to check they were restricting their movements after arrival.

New figures from the Department of Justice and seen by The Irish Times show the level of checks carried out on the passenger-locator form visitors are required to complete before travelling here.

The department said follow-up text messages were sent to 71 per cent of the 54,793 who completed the form ahead of travel into the country between December 21st and January 3rd.

The number arriving over this time, 54,675 people, is lower than the number that filled out the form because it can be completed online in advance and some may not have travelled in the end.

The information provided by visitors is used to contact them over the following 14 days to verify details are correct and, if they have arrived from a “red” country with high Covid-19 infection levels, to ensure they are restricting movements for 14 days.

Some 38,990 follow-up text messages were sent and 8,872 follow-up calls made to check on visitors and ensure they were following public health advice.

The figures cover those who arrived into the State through Dublin, Shannon and Cork airports.

Negative tests

All travellers will need negative PCR tests to enter the country from this weekend.

There will be no penal sanction imposed on airlines or ferry companies under the new regulations.

Compliance with the requirement to present a negative Covid-19 test on travellers from Britain and South Africa, introduced last weekend, has been high, with 97 per cent of people producing a test result at the weekend, rising to 99 per cent over the course of this week.

Prosecutions will be considered in cases where people did not produce a negative test result.

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