Pandemic recognises no boundaries


Unfortunately there has been an increase in Covid cases recently throughout our island.

Through Parliamentary Questions and in other Dáil Debates I have I constantly emphasised the importance of an All-Ireland approach in dealing with this pandemic which recognises no boundaries.

Below is a reply by the Minister for Health to a recent Dáil Question I tabled.

For Written Answer on : 30/07/2020
Question Number(s): 1289 Question Reference(s): 20445/20
Department: Health
Asked by: Brendan Smith T.D.


* To ask the Minister for Health if additional measures will be introduced on an all Ireland basis to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Brendan Smith T.D.

For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 30 July, 2020.


There has been ongoing and regular contact at Ministerial level with Northern Ireland throughout this pandemic in relation to how each health system is implementing various public health responses.

A Memorandum of Understanding was formally agreed between the respective health services in April. The MOU focuses on facilitating greater co-operation and consistency of approach wherever possible on areas such as public health messaging, programmes of behavioural change, evidence base/ modelling and contact tracing.

There has been significant engagement between the CMOs, and officials in both jurisdictions. Calls are held regularly including at a technical level to facilitate information sharing on topics such as modelling, testing and contact tracing approaches, tracing apps and travel measures.

In recent weeks, there has been regular engagement at official level  to discuss our policy approaches to international travel and to foster a mutual understanding of our positions on passenger locator forms and on public health advice and requirements for incoming passengers.

The administrations are seeking to adopt similar approaches, where it is appropriate to do so on the advice of respective Chief Medical Officers. Discussions have and will continue to take place on respective plans for the gradual and controlled easing of restrictions, given the importance of implementing consistent approaches wherever possible. All parties recognise that in terms of public health measures in both jurisdictions, that it will be important to maintain strong North/South collaborative arrangements.

The North South Ministerial Council of 31 July will provide a further opportunity and platform for the discussion of these issues.