RCSI signs up to protocol for safe arrival of international students to study in Ireland
The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) University of Medicine and Health Sciences has joined with other higher education institutes (HEIs) to develop a protocol that is to facilitate the safe arrival of international students, many of whom are returning to Ireland to continue their studies.
Working closely with the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, the RCSI said it had contributed to the protocol as part of a commitment to furthering adherence to safety measures across the higher education sector.
RCSI described its own policies as going further than some steps in the agreed protocol, including a 14-day restricted movement for all international students.
The agreed HEIs protocol is focused on supporting the protection of public health, including of all students, staff, and the wider community.
The protocol involves several steps for all international students coming to study in Ireland.
These include that students must track their health and any potential symptoms 14 days prior to travel to Ireland. Any students who have tested positive for Covid-19 should not travel to Ireland until they have been symptom-free for at least 14 days prior to departure.
Students are to receive an appropriate briefing from their institution on how they can comply with prevailing public health measures in Ireland.
All international students have, or are to be, instructed to arrive in Ireland 14 days prior to commencing their studies on campus.
Students are also to be made aware by HEIs of the need to restrict their movements in the 14 days after arrival from a country not on the Green List, and the need to have accommodation for their first 14 days which enables them to restrict their movements.
This includes returning international students who may have existing accommodation arrangements.
Students are to be briefed by the individual institutions on the specific protocols for return to education at each campus.
The HEIs are working towards having a symptom tracking procedure in place for the 14-day period following arrival in Ireland. If students develop symptoms, they are to be supported, including in accessing on-campus medical support and national-level supports in a safe manner.
The HEIs are working with the relevant sectoral bodies including DAA, previously Dublin Airport Authority, and other Irish airports to facilitate a greet and transfer service for incoming international students.
Over a six-week period, international students are being met at the airport and transferred directly to their accommodation in designated transport.
They will be required to complete a Covid-19 Passenger Locator Form, as is the case for all incoming passengers, and encouraged to download the Health Service Executive’s COVID Tracker App.
“It’s crucial that we maintain our reputation as a destination for international students. This reputation has been built over years, involving significant investment. These protocols will ensure that international students are welcomed and transported safely to their accommodation where they will restrict their movements for 14 days,” said Jim Miley, Director General of the Irish Universities Association (IUA).