Gardaí checking home quarantine compliance receiving incomplete details

Officers report receiving vague or non-existent addresses from those quarantining at home

Gardaí tasked with checking compliance with home quarantine measures and with tracking down those who abscond from hotel quarantine have expressed frustration with the quality of information they are receiving.

Members have reported receiving incomplete or vague information on people who are supposed to be quarantining at home under Covid-19 regulations, having recently travelled into the State.

Gardaí are required to perform checks on many travellers into the State to ensure they are remaining at the address they provided to officials on landing in Ireland.

However, this task has been made difficult as addresses are sometimes vague, incomplete or, in at least one case, non-existent.


According to the latest available information from Garda Headquarters, gardaí performed 590 checks on people quarantining at home between February 24th and March 14th. However, figures for how many of these checks were successful were not made available.


According to gardaí who spoke to The Irish Times, there have been multiple instances of officers being unable to find a house to perform a check. In one instance gardaí were given the name of an apartment building but not the number of the apartment. In another gardaí were deployed to check a house in a housing estate which did not exist.

There is also frustration with the information provided to gardaí tasked with finding people who escaped from the mandatory hotel quarantine, which was introduced last week for people travelling from certain countries.

Three people absconded from mandatory quarantine in the Crowne Plaza Hotel at Dublin Airport last week, shortly after arriving on a flight from Dubai.

Two have since returned to quarantine while gardaí continue to search for a third man.

It is understood gardaí were only given the names and phone numbers of these people, along with a physical description.

Other details such as passport scans or addresses were not provided. In one case, the phone number given to gardaí by quarantine officials did not belong to the absconder but to his relative.

A Garda spokesman said members are provided information gathered by the Department of Health. "The information is provided daily approximately six days after the individual's arrival into the State," he said.


The spokesman said preliminary validation takes place on the data before gardaí are deployed to perform physical checks on properties.

A visit typically only takes place if an individual who is supposed to be quarantining does not answer their phone to an official. Many visitors to the State are exempt from the quarantine regulations.

Meanwhile, searches are continuing for the third man who left hotel quarantine, although gardaí believe he has likely left the jurisdiction. The man is a Northern Ireland resident and is believed to have travelled across the Border.

The PSNI has declined to say if it is assisting gardaí in the matter while the Garda referred queries to the Department of Health.

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher is Crime and Security Correspondent of The Irish Times