“Gardaí stopping motorists from Northern Ireland or from this jurisdiction in the border region does not amount to border checks. I would be opposed to having checks at border crossings. As a lay person I believe that random/rolling check points are more effective.
I had raised on a number of occasions through Parliamentary Questions the need to ensure that restrictions on travel are strictly implemented regardless of persons being ordinarily resident in this State or not. People resident in this State are subject to covid-19 related travel restrictions and people visiting this State should have to comply with the same regulations.
People from Northern Ireland or this State can travel on essential journeys. Non-essential travel is not permitted. The same legal obligations apply to all. Under the current covid-19 public health restrictions travel is restricted to within 5km of a person’s home except for essential reasons.
Residents of our State travelling to Northern Ireland for non-essential reasons are subject to on-the-spot fines that have been in place for the past four weeks to ensure people do not travel further than 5km from their homes” stated Brendan Smith TD.
FEBRUARY 9 2021
BELOW IS A REPLY BY THE MINISTER FOR HEALTH TO MY MOST RECENT PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION IN DÁIL ÉIREANN REGARDING TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS.
For Written Answer on : 28/01/2021
Question Number(s): 287 Question Reference(s): 4900/21
Asked by: Brendan Smith T.D.
To ask the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 336 of 14 January 2021, if additional measures will be introduced in co-ordination with the authorities in Northern Ireland to ensure that restrictions on travel are strictly implemented regardless of persons being ordinarily resident in this State or not; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The Health Act 1947 (Section 31A – Temporary Restrictions) (Covid-19) (No. 10) Regulations 2020 (SI No. 701 of 2020) came into operation on 30 December, 2020. These Regulations provide that a person may not leave their place of residence without reasonable excuse. The regulations define place of residence for people resident in the State and people not ordinarily resident in the State. In relation to a person who is not ordinarily resident in the State, the regulations define place of residence as the premises in the State, if any, at which he or she is currently residing, whether on a permanent or temporary basis. The Deputy will be aware that the Government is drawing up measures to tighten restrictions on travel into and out of the State as a matter of urgency.
I am aware of the risks posed to the entire island by international travel during the pandemic and will continue discussions with the Northern Ireland Executive and UK Government on opportunities for increased alignment and common outcomes on travel issues more generally.