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People travelling from Northern Ireland ports to Republic required to sign passenger locator forms


Divide: A bus crossing the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic

Divide: A bus crossing the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic

Divide: A bus crossing the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic

People arriving in Northern Ireland airports and ports will soon be required to fill in passenger locator forms if they are travelling across the border to the Republic.

The Irish Government's Cabinet have been asked to sign off on a deal which will see passenger information shared on both sides of the border.

The move will mean people flying into Northern Ireland and travelling south will have to detail where they will be restricting their movements for two weeks after arrival.

Irish airport and port authorities will also collect passenger information on people arriving in Ireland before travelling north. This information will then be shared with Northern Ireland authorities.

In the Republic, it is an offence to provide incorrect information on a passenger locator form and can be punished by a fine of up to €2,500 (£2,200 ) or six months in prison.

The has been on going tensions between the Irish Government and the Northern Ireland Assembly over the sharing of passenger information. GDPR issues were cited as an issue by the Dublin officials but the problem has since been overcome and the information will now be shared.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney held a meeting last night with Northern Ireland leaders Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill. Health Minister Robin Swann also attended the video conference call.

Mr Donnelly told Cabinet he is finalising regulations that will require people arriving in Ireland from Northern Ireland via ports or airports to complete a passenger locator form.

The minister also said legislation will be required to introduce mandatory quarantine facilities for people arriving into the country.

There is frustration within government over the slow pace of quarantine being introduced in the Republic. One Government source said: “Donnelly hasn’t advanced mandatory quarantine on iota.”

It comes as authorities in Britain are tackling outbreaks of the potentially more infectious South African variant of the coronavirus.

There have been nine cases of the South African variant in Ireland to date and all were contained before they could spread in to the community.

Irish Independent

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