The High Court is to inquire into whether or not the detention of a woman who is in mandatory quarantine in a Dublin hotel is lawful.
The court agreed to hold the inquiry on Monday after lawyers for the Minister for Health conceded for the purposes of this case that the woman is in detention.
Inbar Aviezer, who is vaccinated against Covid-19 and has tested negative after arriving from Israel has taken a High Court action under Article 40 of the Constitution challenging what she says is her unlawful detention.
Senior Counsel Michael Cush told the High Court this morning the State would argue that the public health mandatory quarantine regime in its purpose and nature is triggered by a voluntary action and was fundamentally different from the type of detention that is normally challenged under Article 40 of the Constitution.
However, he said for the purposes of this case only the State was prepared to concede that it does apply.
Mr Cush said the State's legal team had worked through the night to take sworn statements, one from a public health expert and another from the Assistant Secretary General of the Department of Health.
The statements were both up to 30 pages long and the exhibits in the case would be substantial, he said.
Senior Counsel Conor Power, who represents Ms Aviezer, said normally an application for bail would be made at this stage, but he appreciated the circumstances were different in a quarantine case.
However, he pointed to the fact that his client is fully vaccinated and has produced two negative PCR tests in recent days.
Mr Power said he would work through the weekend on the case, but would need time to consider the State's affidavits and exhibits and unfortunately his client would be in detention in a hotel during that time.
Ms Aviezer has been quarantining at the Holiday Inn Express Hotel, near Dublin Airport, since Wednesday after taking a flight from Israel.
Her lawyers went to the High Court yesterday to ask that the court order an inquiry into her detention.
The court was told yesterday that a preliminary issue in the case would be if Ms Aviezer is actually detained as a matter of law.
The inquiry under Article 40.4.2 of the Constitution into the legality of her detention has been brought against the Minister for Health, and TIFCO Ltd and TIFCO Management Services (Ireland) Ltd, the owners and operators of the hotel where she is currently located.
Mr Power said that while "the doors of her hotel room are unlocked", she must stay in her room for most of the day, and she receives her meals in the room. Mr Power said his client says she is being detained and that the detention is not lawful.
"It is very much her case that the quarantine regime amounts to a form of detention", which breaches his client's constitutional right to liberty, he said.
It was accepted that the State must take measures to protect public health in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, Mr Power also told the court that the decision to require her to quarantine at a hotel was in Ms Aviezer's case is "disproportionate".
Counsel said that there was a failure to take into account important considerations including that client has been vaccinated for Covid-19 in Israel, and had tested negative for Covid-19 on two occasions in the last few days.
On arrival, she was told she would have to quarantine for up to 14 days, and would have to pay €1,850 to cover the costs of her stay at a designated hotel.
If she were to leave the hotel, she faces the prospect of being arrested by gardai and being brought back to the hotel.
Anyone who fails or refuses to undergo the mandatory quarantine could end up receiving a criminal record as well as being fined and or being jailed for a month, Mr Power said, adding that his client does not wish to break the law.
Ms Aviezar moved to Ireland to be with her fiancée and is due to start a new job in the healthcare sector at the end of the month, the court was told. She is a citizen of Switzerland, Israel and the US.
When she arrived in Ireland she did not know about the mandatory requirement to quarantine at a designated hotel, counsel said.
Israel was removed from the mandatory hotel quarantine list last night.
However, the Department of Health has said that anyone currently quarantining after arriving from those countries removed from the list must complete their time in quarantine.