GARDÁI ARE TO be given powers to seize scramblers and quad bikes on the spot if they breach new laws aimed at clamping down on anti-social use of the vehicles.
Proposals will go to Cabinet today that will also allow gardaí for the first time to enter private property with a warrant to remove the vehicles. 
Statistics released by the HSE showed that 62 people were injured last year in accidents involving off-road vehicles like scrambler bikes. 
In the period between 2014 and 2019, three of the six people who died in Ireland  as a result of an incident involving a quad bike or scrambler were aged 18 or under, according to statistics from the Road Safety Authority.
Up until now, the use of scramblers and quads on certain lands wasnt covered by road traffic legislation. Amendments to the upcoming Road Traffic (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill are to be made shortly that will regulate their use for the first time. 
The use of such vehicles hit the headlines when an Armenian man, Ilabek Avetian, suffered devastating injuries after being struck by a scrambler while sunbathing with his wife in a park in Darndale on Dublins northside.
Avetian lost an eye and suffered brain injuries as a result of the crash.
At the time, better law enforcement rather than the roll-out of new legislation was put forward by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar as a potential solution to the anti-social use of the vehicles. However, a number of Fianna Fáil TDs and opposition politicians called for more to be done. 
While mechanically-propelled vehicles are already regulated in public places under the Road Traffic Act, the new measures will cover other plots of land including other designated parks, green spaces, and waste ground, but not including privately-owned land. 
It will be an offence to use a quad, scrambler or similar in such locations without the consent of the landowner.
It is understood that the change in legislation will not affect farmland where consent is given for the use of the vehicle.
Other avenues of regulation and enforcement are also being developed through an inter-departmental working group chaired by the Department of Justice. 
Mandatory quarantine in hotels
Cabinet will also discuss a number of other matters today, including the new Bill for mandatory quarantine of passengers arriving into Ireland from a list of 20 red list countries, which is now ready. 
Despite the measure being announced a number of weeks ago, the legislation to underpin the mandatory isolation of people in hotels has only been drafted.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly will bring the proposed legislation, which will go to the Dáil for approval this Thursday, before going to Seanad next Friday. 
The Bill, which could be published today or Wednesday, sets out that irrespective of nationality, all arrivals into Ireland on the list of 20 category two list countries must quarantine in a hotel for 14 days. 
Travellers must pay for the stay in full themselves, and while the exact cost is not set out in the legislation it is understood it is not expected to be far off the £1,700 cost that is charged in the UK. It is estimated that people arriving into Ireland could pay up to 2,000 for their stay in a hote for two weeks.
The legislation sets out only limited exits will be permitted from quarantine for example, if someone has to be transferred to another facility for some reason, or if someone subsequently tests positive for Covid-19 and has to be transferred to a Covid facility or hospital. 
Upon finishing quarantine, travellers will receive a letter of completion for their stay in hotel quarantine. 
Leaving Cert
Cabinet is also set to discuss and possibly sign off on new arrangements for the Leaving Certificate this year.
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Talks between the unions and the department took place on Sunday and resumed again yesterday after the ASTI abruptly pulled out of the meetings earlier last week. 
Any decision on the Leaving Cert exam today is dependent on the continuing discussions with education stakeholders.
St Patricks Day 
Ministers will also hear a memo brought by the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin on how the government plans to support this years St Patricks Festival. 
Martin has committed up to 1 million in programme funding from her Department, an addition to the 400,000 in business continuity funding through Fáilte Ireland for events.
The minister is understood to want the festival platform to provide much needed employment opportunities for creators and performers who would traditionally have found much work around St Patricks Day.
While the full details of the festival will be announced on Wednesday, it will include a dedicated TV channel for the St Patricks Festival Online TV.
Funding will go towards the festival and related activities, with a special dedicated online channel this year.
A hybrid approach involving a mix of outdoor, broadcast, digital and tech events and activities, for all ages and communities, will be the model for the festival.
A special RTE St Patricks Day broadcast will also be on air, as well as virtual parade, due to this years parade being cancelled.