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Passengers who fail to fill in quarantine form face jail or €2,500 fine

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Health Minister Simon Harris

Health Minister Simon Harris

Health Minister Simon Harris

Passengers who refuse to tell authorities where they are quarantining for two weeks after arriving in Ireland could face six months in prison or a €2,500 fine.

The Cabinet has agreed to make it mandatory for everyone arriving here to fill in a location form outlining where they will be self-isolating for a fortnight.

The new regulations will come into force next Thursday and be reviewed on June 18.

It will mean gardai will be able to check on passengers who fill in the form.

Charges can be pressed against anyone found to be not staying at the address they listed.

It will be an offence to refuse to fill out the form and to enter false information.

Breaching the regulations will be punishable by a fine of up to €2,500 or six months in prison.

Passengers transiting to another jurisdiction, certified international transport workers, air and maritime pilot/masters and crew will not have to complete the form.

Individuals from the North will only have to fill out a part of the document.

Health Minister Simon Harris called the new measures "extraordinary", but said they were "necessary in a time of a public health crisis".

Nationality

"We continue to advise everyone against non-essential travel. However, if a person does arrive into Ireland, they will legally be obliged to fill out this form, regardless of their nationality," he said.

"The form will be used to facilitate a system of follow-up checks to make sure people who travel to the country are staying where they said that they would.

"The form will also ensure more accurate and quicker contact tracing, should we have a confirmed case on a flight or ferry coming into Ireland.

"Every measure we take is aimed at stopping the spread of Covid-19 and protecting people from this virus."

Sinn Fein deputy Darren O'Rourke said every passenger arriving in Ireland should have their temperature checked.

"Temperature screening can also act as a deterrent for those thinking of travelling who may be unwell and provide a level of reassurance to other members of the travelling public," Mr O'Rourke said.

"While some airlines have now introduced their own requirement on the wearing of face coverings on flights, we believe this should now be introduced for all those flying into and out of Ireland."