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DUP Deputy Leader and Peer Nigel Dodds called on the Irish Government to start to share data with Northern Ireland on international travellers to stop the spread of COVID.

Speaking in a debate in the Lords he said :

"There is a real problem about how visitors from high risk countries arriving in the Republic are monitored after crossing the border from the Irish Republic into Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

There has been an ongoing problem with getting the necessary information and data from the Irish Republic authorities. The Northern Ireland Executive has been calling for information to be shared from passenger locator forms in the Irish Republic. So far this has met with little or no progress.

It is absolutely imperative that Dublin acts on this. It should have done so months ago. We need to ensure that all international travellers arriving into Irish Republic provide information which is accessible for compliance checks in the respective jurisdictions of the UK and the Irish Republic. That is sensible and pragmatic.

Passenger locator form information needs to be shared between Dublin and UK authorities especially in Northern Ireland.

This has been raised bilaterally between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

It now needs to be resolved as a matter of urgency.

Arguments have been made concerning problems with data sharing and that legislation is needed.

We cannot afford to waste any more time.

There needs to be a collaborative approach if the Common Travel Area is to work properly. Further meetings have been requested on this by the UK government with their Irish government counterparts.

The British Government must assist in achieving information sharing which will help save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19 by engaging with his ministerial colleagues to impress upon them the urgency of the situation."