Northern Ireland news

14-day quarantine to be introduced in Northern Ireland from June 8

A quiet Belfast International airport as the coronavirus outbreak continues. Picture by Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

Travellers who enter Northern Ireland from outside the Common Travel Area will be required to isolate for 14 days from June 8, under new regulations being finalised by the Executive.

The rules are being drawn up by the Department of Health which confirmed that the amount a person can be fined for a breach of the rules has yet to be agreed.

The Common Travel Area includes the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

Quarantine rules in England, which also begin on June 8, exempts the island of Ireland but other nationalities must register at an address and will risk a £1,000 fine if they are not there when checked.

The Department of Health told the Irish News that passengers who have been outside the Common Travel Area within the 14 days prior to their arrival in Northern Ireland "will be required to complete a passenger locator form on arrival". This will include passengers who are travelling internationally via the Republic of Ireland.

There had been concerns raised that international passengers flying into Dublin airport and travelling on to Northern Ireland would not have to register for 14-day quarantine. 

The Department of Health said it would be an offence to breach the self-isolation requirements "regardless of how you have travelled to NI" and that health authorities in the north and south of Ireland "are working to finalise arrangements regarding information sharing". 

The Republic introduced its 14-day quarantine restrictions on May 28 and requires people arriving through ports and airports to fill out a passenger locator form. It is an offence not to fill out the form, with a fine of up to €2,500.

Passengers from Northern Ireland only have to indicate on the form that they are exempt. It means that people returning to the north from highly-infected countries will not have to register for quarantine if they travel through the Republic’s airports or ports.

Read more: Ryanair criticises 'ineffective' quarantine, says travellers could be playing golf when phone call check is made


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