Health (Amendment) Act 2021


Number 1 of 2021




1. Definition

2. Amendment of section 2 of Act of 1947

3. Amendment of section 31A of Act of 1947

4. Confirmation of certain provision of regulation under section 31A(1) as fixed penalty provision

5. Amendment of section 31C of Act of 1947

6. Amendment of section 31D of Act of 1947

7. Insertion of sections 38B to 38M in Act of 1947

8. Amendment of section 42 of Act of 1947

9. Short title, commencement and operation

Acts Referred to

Customs Act 2015 (No. 18)

Data Protection Act 2018 (No. 7)

Diplomatic Relations and Immunities Acts 1967 to 2006

Health Act 1947 (No. 28)

Immigration Act 2004 (No. 1)

International Protection Act 2015 (No. 66)


Number 1 of 2021


An Act, to make exceptional provision, in the public interest and having regard to the manifest and grave risk to human life and public health posed by the spread of the disease known as Covid-19 and variants of that disease and in order to mitigate, where practicable, the effect of the spread of that disease; to amend the Health Act 1947 to make further and better provision for the enforcement of regulations under section 31A of that Act; to provide for the mandatory quarantine of persons coming into the State from certain areas from where there is known to be sustained human transmission of Covid-19 or any variant of concern, or from which there is a high risk of importation of infection or contamination with Covid-19 or any variant of concern by travel from that area; to provide for the designation of such areas by the Minister; to provide for the mandatory quarantine of persons coming into the State who fail to comply with certain requirements relating to testing for the disease; to provide for the designation of facilities for such quarantine; to provide for the conveying of persons to those facilities; to provide for the making of service agreements to facilitate such quarantine; to provide for alternatives to such quarantine for persons coming into the State where such persons indicate an intention to apply for international protection or where such persons are children who are not accompanied by an adult; and to provide for related matters.

[7th March, 2021]

WHEREAS the disease known as Covid-19, and the emergence of variants of the disease, including VOC202012/01, 501Y.V2 and P.1, with evidence of increased transmissibility and the potential to evade immune response, and the spread of those variants, presents a very serious risk to public health and it is essential that persons testing positive or who are asymptomatic for the disease including in particular, variants of the disease, are detected given that the transmission of the disease has proven difficult to prevent;

WHEREAS travel into the State by persons from certain areas where variants of the disease exist and the spread of any such variants may pose a threat to the effectiveness of some vaccines and affect the programme of vaccination in the State;

WHEREAS the prevalence of the disease and its increased transmissibility is severely

impacting on the health system in the State which is under significant and sustained pressure;

WHEREAS the crisis occasioned by the spread of that disease is causing and will continue to cause significant damage to the economy of the State resulting, thus far, in a substantial increase in the number of persons who have become unemployed and a substantial increase in the national debt;

WHEREAS the restrictive measures imposed on persons in the State for the purposes of preventing situations and behaviours that may lead to further transmission of the disease are many and onerous and it is desired to return to the normal social and economic functioning of society as soon as is practicable;

WHEREAS the European Centre for Disease Control has advised that based on information available, the risks associated with the introduction and spread of variants of the disease means that escalated measures should be considered, including quarantining of travellers and testing during such quarantine;

WHEREAS travel into the State by persons from certain areas with high incidence levels of the disease, variants of the disease or without taking the appropriate test for the disease is a significant concern, and measures adopted to date, including self-quarantining with its practical challenges in monitoring and enforcement, for the purposes of addressing that concern require to be supplemented by further measures in respect of those persons for compelling reasons of public interest and for the common good to safeguard the public, the health system and the vaccination programme;

Be it enacted by the Oireachtas as follows: