A Londonderry man who refused to enter a quarantine hotel in Dublin after returning from Turkey, where he underwent elective cosmetic surgery, was denied bail and remanded in custody.
am Marie McGinley (32), from Rose Court in the Waterside area of Derry, arrived at Dublin International Airport on Wednesday after a week-long clinical visit to Turkey.
The Derry Magistrates’ Court was told that because McGinley could not afford to pay the hotel quarantine fee of € 1,700, he instead returned home to Derry.
When he returned home he contacted the police about another matter and when they called home he told the police that he had just returned from Turkey.
At first, the police took no action, but when they later realized that McGinley should be in quarantine, they returned to his home and arrested him.
He was charged with violating the Health Protection (International Travel Coronavirus) Regulation on August 3, carrying a fine of up to £ 5,000.
In seeking bail, attorney Paddy McGurk told District Judge Barney McElholm that the accused was confused about the coronavirus travel legislation in that he believed he did not. not to go into quarantine as he had returned to Dublin.
Mr McGurk said that after the arrest of the accused he was taken to Musgrave Street police station in Belfast and detained overnight. He testified that the accused suffered from severe anxiety and depression.
“The accused fell into the confusion surrounding the legislation. He is now in custody because he cannot afford the cost of the quarantine hotel. Due to his serious mental health issues he is now in a very difficult situation with confusing legislation, ”said McGurk.
Opposing the bail, a police officer said “Turkey has been on the red list for over 12 months. When the police spoke to him, they asked him to explain the Covid regulations in relation to his case. staff but he categorically refused. They asked him several times but he again refused “.
The district judge said the laws were made by politicians.
“If I grant this man bail, the police will just go back to his home and arrest him again. It would be wrong of me to bail him out knowing the police would be forced to arrest him. must refuse bail. Allowing him to be released on bail at his own address puts him in a situation where he would continue to commit an offense, “he said.
The investigator said the accused returned from Turkey on August 3, so he should be quarantined until August 14.
Mr McElholm took the accused into custody until August 16 and requested that the accused be tested for Covid in prison.