Health (Preservation and Protection and other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) Act 2020

11.

Detention and isolation of persons in certain circumstances

11. The Act of 1947 is amended by insertion of the following section after section 38:

“38A. (1) Where, having regard to the matters specified in subsection (2), a medical officer of health believes in good faith that—

(a) a person is a potential source of infection, and

(b) the person is a potential risk to public health, and

(c) his or her detention and isolation is appropriate in order to—

(i) prevent, limit, minimise or slow the spread of Covid-19, and

(ii) minimise the risk to human life and public health,

and

(d) such person cannot be effectively isolated, refuses to remain or appears unlikely to remain in his or her home or other accommodation arranged, or agreed, by the Health Service Executive,

the officer may in writing order the detention and isolation of such person in a hospital or other place specified in the order (including such other hospital or other place as may subsequently be appropriate and specified in the order) until such time as the medical officer certifies that the person’s detention is no longer required for the purposes of this section.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a medical officer of health shall have regard to the following:

(a) the need to act expeditiously in order to prevent, limit, minimize or slow the spread of Covid-19;

(b) the resources of the health services including the number of health care workers available at a given time, the capacity of those workers to undertake measures, the necessity to take such measures as are appropriate to protect health care workers from infection from Covid-19, and the capacity of hospitals or other institutions to accommodate and facilitate the provision of treatment of infected persons;

(c) the policies and objectives of the Government to protect human life and public health for the purpose of preventing, limiting, minimising or slowing the spread of Covid-19, (including the spread outside the State);

(d) the fact that Covid-19 is recently declared by the World Health Organisation to be a pandemic and any relevant guidance (including, in particular, any guidance relating to the risk assessment for, and case definition relating to, Covid-19) provided by the World Health Organisation, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control or the Health Protection Surveillance Centre of the Health Service Executive;

(e) the advice of any other public health officials with relevant medical and scientific expertise.

(3) An order made under subsection (1) shall be of no effect unless the medical officer of health has certified his or her opinion as to the matters referred to in that subsection.

(4) A medical officer of health who makes an order under subsection (1) shall keep the detention order under review and ensure that a medical examination of the person who is the subject of the order is carried out as soon as possible and in any event no later than 14 days from the time the person has been detained.

(5) A person who is the subject of an order under subsection (1) may request that his or her detention be reviewed by a medical officer of health, other than the officer who makes the order concerned, on the grounds that he or she is not a potential source of infection.

(6) Where a request is made by a person under subsection (5), his or her detention shall be reviewed as soon as practicable and, where a medical officer of health who carries out the review considers that the person is not, at time of review concerned, a potential source of infection, the medical officer shall certify that the person is no longer required to be detained for the purposes of the section and the person shall be discharged accordingly.

(7) Subject to the requirements in relation to medical examination and the period of detention specified in subsection (4) —

(a) the provisions of subsections (2) (a) to (g), (3) and (4) of section 38 shall with any necessary modification apply to a person who is subject to detention and isolation under the provisions of this section, and

(b) the provisions of subsection (5) of section 38 shall with any necessary modification apply to a person who—

(i) prevents or attempts to prevent the detention, or the bringing to a hospital or other place, of any person who is subject to detention and isolation under the provisions of this section,

(ii) assists in an escape or an attempted escape of any person who is subject to detention and isolation under the provisions of this section, or

(iii) obstructs or interferes with the exercise of any power conferred by this section.

(8) A person who is guilty of an offence under this section shall, on summary conviction thereof, be liable to a class C fine or, at the discretion of the Court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or to both.

(9) The cost of the maintenance and treatment of a person to whom an order under this section relates in the hospital or other place specified in the order shall be paid by the Health Service Executive.

(10) In this section—

‘potential source of infection’ means, in relation to a person, a person who meets one or more of the following criteria:

(a) a person who has been in recent contact with a person whom the medical officer of health believes in good faith to be—

(i) a probable source of infection of Covid-19, or

(ii) suffering from Covid-19;

(b) a person who has attended an event which the medical officer of health believes in good faith was attended by a person or persons who—

(i) is or are a probable source of infection with Covid-19, or

(ii) is or are suffering from Covid-19;

(c) a person who has travelled from, or been in contact with a person or persons who has or have travelled from a place outside the State that the medical officer of health believes in good faith to have a significant number of cases of persons infected with Covid-19;

(d) a person who has travelled from, to or within, or been in contact with a person or persons who has or have travelled from, to or within a geographical area to which an affected areas order applies;

(e) any other person whom the medical officer of health believes in good faith to be a potential source of infection with Covid-19.”.

Annotations:

Modifications (not altering text):

C7

Application of Part extended from 10 November 2021 to 9 February 2022 by Resolution of Dáil Éireann: Debates Volume 1013 No. 3, 3 November 2021 - Extension of Part 3 of the Health (Preservation and Protection and other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) Act 2020 : Motion, and by Resolution of Seanad Éireann: Debates Volume 279 No. 11, 3 November 2021, Health (Preservation and Protection and other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) Act 2020 : Motion.

C8

Application of section extended from 9 November 2020 to 9 June 2021 by Resolution of Dáil Éireann: Debates Volume 999 No. 7, 22 October 2020, Health (Preservation and Protection and other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act) 2020 - Part 3: Motion, and by Resolution of Seanad Éireann: Debates Volume 272 No. 1, 22 October 2020, Health (Preservation and Protection and other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) Act 2020 - Part 3: Motion.