Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly TD has today announced that the current COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form will move to an online process next week.
Regulations underpinning the move to an online form were signed by the Minister for Health today and will come into effect on Wednesday 26 August.
The Government continues to advise Irish citizens and residents against all non-essential international travel. Passengers arriving into Ireland from overseas are asked to restrict their movements for 14 days unless arriving from one of the countries with a “normal precautions” travel advisory from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (green list).
Minister Donnelly said: “The public health advice remains that all non-essential travel overseas should be avoided, but we understand that some people need to travel for essential personal and family reasons.
“Today’s change is aimed to facilitate this travel and make the completion of the COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form easier for those who need to travel. Importantly we are rolling out an enhanced system of engagements with passengers, which will include issuing targeted public health advice by text message.
“Completion of this form helps our public health officials carry out follow-up checks on those arriving into the State. It also facilitates contact tracing efforts in the event of a suspectedor confirmed case of COVID-19 on a flight or ship that has landed in Ireland.
“The Government still advises passengers who arrive into Ireland from non-Green List countries to restrict their movements for 14 days. This is to limit the possible importing of COVID-19 and onward transmission of the disease to their families, communities and workplaces.”
Passengers arriving to Ireland on or after Wednesday 26 August will be able to complete the COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form online. It is a legal requirement for passengers arriving in Ireland from overseas to complete a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form.
Passengers arriving from this date can complete form in advance of their arrival online atgov.ie/locatorform.The online form for those arriving from next Wednesday is now available.
The electronic COVID-19 Passenger Locator form will support an enhanced system of engagements with passengers arriving from overseas.
Passengers who complete an EPLF will receive an email receipt which will include key public health messages. Public health messages will also be sent to passengers by text after they arrive in Ireland.
The form is to be used to facilitate a system of follow up checks to make sure the details entered are correct.
The form also ensures more accurate and expeditious contact tracing, should we have a confirmed case on a flight or ferry coming into Ireland.
Passengers are asked to complete the form in advance of their arrival into the State. Completion of this form is now mandatory by law as prescribed under section 31A of the Health Act 1947.
Passengers who are travelling immediately onwards to Northern Ireland will not be asked to complete all sections of the form.
Effective from 26 August 2020
The regulations underpinning the mandatory completion of the online COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form have been signed by Minister Donnelly and will come into effect from Wednesday 26 August.
The following passengers arriving from overseas are not required to complete aCOVID-19 Passenger Locator form:
• aircraft crew, including the pilot, who are in Ireland in the course of performing their duties
International transport workers who:
• have a Green Lane Annex 3 Certificate
• are driving a Heavy Goods Vehicle
• ship crew, including the master, who are in Ireland in the course of performing their duties
• passengers in transit to another jurisdiction which does not involve leaving the port or airport
Offences and penalties
Under regulations underpinning the mandatory completion of the form, the following offences are punishable by a fine not exceeding €2,500 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months, or both.
• It is an offence not to complete the form in the manner specified.
• It is an offence to provide false or misleading information in the form.
• It is an offence not to provide an update if the contact details provided on the form in the first 14 days of stay.
• It is an offence to fail to give an officer who requests it information required to verify the details on the form.
• In addition to these offences, a member of An Garda Síochána may direct a person who is not complying with the requirements in respect of the form to so comply. Failing to comply with that direction is an offence.
• A member of An Garda Síochána who suspects that an offence has been committed may demand the name and address of the person who is suspected of committing the offence. Failure to comply with this demand or the production of a false name and/or address is an offence for which a person may be arrested.
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