Filter

Question

713. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Justice further to Parliamentary Question No. 632 of 17 February 2021, the scientific and medical evidence on which the new visa requirements on passport holders from a number of countries was based; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13006/21]

714. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Justice further to Parliamentary Question No. 632 of 17 February 2021, the changes to the visa requirements for passport holders of other jurisdictions made since 17 February 2021; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13007/21]

715. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Justice further to Parliamentary Question No. 632 of 17 February 2021, the status of the review of new visa requirements on passport holders from a number of countries; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13008/21]

716. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Justice further to Parliamentary Question No. 632 of 17 February 2021, if measurements such as the cumulative 14-day incidence rates of confirmed cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 population in a country and or the R number are used in deciding on the imposition of new visa requirements on passport holders from a number of countries; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13009/21]

Answer

Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): I propose to take Questions Nos. 713 to 716, inclusive, together.
The visa measures referred to by the Deputy are designed to support our current public health restrictions on movement, including into and out of Ireland.
The travel restrictions and the measures introduced as part of the Government’s efforts to interrupt the transmission of COVID-19, mean that travel may not be possible and, even if possible, is not advisable unless absolutely essential. It is currently against the law for any person (regardless of nationality or passport) to travel within Ireland for non-essential purposes and people can be fined for doing so.
The strong advice is that everyone, regardless of their nationality or visa/preclearance status, or where they started their travel from, who cannot provide proof of an essential purpose to travel to or within Ireland, should not travel to Ireland.
The framework for restrictive measures is set out in the Government’s Resilience and Recovery: Plan for Living with COVID 19. When making such decisions, the Government considers the expert public health advices of NPHET to tackle the disease.
I have reviewed the interim visa measures introduced on South American countries and South Africa and have decided to use my powers, under Section 17 of the Immigration Act 2004, to maintain these visa requirements after 5 March and until no longer needed for public health reasons. I have not introduced any further visa requirements since 17 February 2021. Further visa requirements may be introduced to other non-EEA countries in the future, where they are deemed necessary and appropriate, to support public health measures approved by the Government.