Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Act 2020
Exigencies of public health emergency
16. The Act of 2001 is amended by the insertion of the following section after section 2:
“2A. (1) A reference in this Act to the exigencies of the public health emergency is a reference to the exigencies of the public health emergency posed by the spread of Covid-19 and, in particular, to:
(a) the manifest and grave risk to human life and public health posed by the spread of Covid-19;
(b) the necessity, for compelling reasons of public interest and for the common good, for measures and safeguards to prevent, minimise or limit the risk of persons being infected with Covid-19;
(c) the effect, on the availability of consultant psychiatrists and other persons to perform functions under this Act, of the spread of Covid-19 and of the deployment of the resources of the health services in order to—
(i) prevent, minimise or limit the risk of persons being infected with Covid-19,
(ii) test persons for Covid-19, and
(iii) provide care and treatment to persons infected with Covid-19.
(2) In this section, ‘Covid-19’ means a disease caused by infection with the virus SARS-CoV-2 and specified as an infectious disease in accordance with Regulation 6 of, and the Schedule to, the Infectious Diseases Regulations 1981 ( S.I. No. 390 of 1981) or any variant of the disease so specified as an infectious disease in those Regulations.”.