Harris wants new laws introduced to regulate travel into Ireland

Harris wants new laws introduced to regulate travel into Ireland

The Health Minister wants to see new laws introduced to regulate people travelling into our ports and airports.

It follows reports gardaí may call to passengers' homes to make sure they are in self-isolation for two weeks.

It's after a third of people arriving at Dublin Airport recently did not fill in forms properly about where they were staying.

Simon Harris says legislation could be needed.

"I do think we need to take further measures to toughen up at our airports and ports," said Minister Harris.

"We already have the form that you have to fill in, you can be contacted to check if you are self-isolating.

"But I would like to underpin this by regulation so that it is the law of the land.

"It is tricky, it's not easy but I don't think it's impossible."

Minister Helen McEntee says they are looking at ways to enforce those laws.

"We are taking specific measures to try and put in place regulations to try and make it compulsary for people to provide these details so that they can be followed up on," said Minister McEntee.

"But I would stress that the numbers of people coming in are absolutely minimal and the vast majority of people are Irish citizens returning home and I do believe the vast majority of people are adhering to these guidelines."

Sinn Féin's justice spokesman, Martin Kenny, says the plans are "heavy-handed" but justified.

"The idea that the gardaí would check on people who have come into the country from abroad and make sure that they are self-isolating and that they would adhere to the rules which have been set down for everyone's benefit, I think is probably a positive thing.

"At the same time there is a little part of me thinking it is a bit heavy-handed but in the context of the circumstances we're in right now I think that every precaution needs to be taken."

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