16th February 2021

On another Zoom morning following the introduction of new Government Legislation in respect of mandatory 14-day quarantine for passengers arriving from outside the State who fail to remain at the address noted on the passenger locator form, the penalties for noncompliance being a fine of up to € 2,500.00 or 6 months in prison, or both and the enforceability of the regulation were discussed in some detail. Our contributor, Seamus Gunn, was of the view that the regulation was unenforceable, he said that it distracted from what he believed was the bigger picture, being the tardiness with which the vaccine is being rolled out within the jurisdiction, comparing figures of 20% to date in the UK, 14% in Northern Ireland, with less that 2% in this country. He said it was not the time for further regulations which the Gardai had not been given guidelines as to how to enforce and in his view were unenforceable. He also put forward the scenario of an individual travelling into Northern Ireland and then travelling South. He referenced the Constitutional protection of one’s home and the requirement of a search warrant if it is to be entered. Greg Hughes highlighted the lack of accessibility to the Nphet evening press conferences/briefings. Seamus Gunn was of the view that the matter could be raised in the Dáil which was the proper forum in order to obtain answers to obvious questions in relation to the vaccine delay. He said that while the cavalry was coming, they had not arrived yet. 

A wide and varied Q&A followed, kicking off with the complications that could arise with refunds on holiday/airline bookings. 

Listen to the full interview below.

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