Michelle Devane, PA
People who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 should not have to self-isolate on their arrival into the Republic of Ireland from abroad, the Minister for Highed Education has said.
Simon Harris said it would be “prudent and sensible” if public health officials examined the advice around self-isolating for those who have been fully vaccinated.
Both vaccinated and non-vaccinated people now have to self-isolate for at least five days on their arrival into the State.
Mr Harris said: “It’s my view that there seems to be a logic that if somebody is fully vaccinated, surely they should have some benefit or bonus from someone who’s not fully vaccinated?
"So I would like to see a review of the issue of a fully-vaccinated person having to self-isolate or self-quarantine at home. It seems to me not the most logical scenario.
“I would hope that as we move towards trying to reopen international travel and connectivity in the coming weeks, that our medical experts would look again at the issue of how fully-vaccinated people are treated.”
As we learn more about the vaccine...is it now time to begin to review the rules around fully vaccinated people having to self-isolate?
He added: “We must be near to the point that when someone who is fully vaccinated against Covid-19 that there has to be a benefit to that in terms of the isolation rules.
"I made a similar point around mandatory quarantine that if you’re fully vaccinated, why are we sending people to mandatory hotel quarantine?"
"I’m now asking the question as we learn more about the vaccine, the benefit of the vaccine, is it now time to begin to review the rules around fully vaccinated people having to self-isolate?" Mr Harris said.
His remarks come as the Government approved new restrictions requiring people who arrive in the State from Britain who are not fully vaccinated to self-isolate for ten days.
Anyone who is not fully vaccinated will have to take a second PCR test 10 days after their arrival.