Jack Quann
Jack Quann

11.18 13 Mar 2020


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Anybody returning from coronavirus-affected areas in Europe are being asked to restrict their movements on return to Ireland.

This will apply to those coming back from Spain and Italy.

People will be met in the airport and given information to restrict their movements for 14 days.

It comes as the Department of Foreign Affairs has issued new travel advice for Spain, advising Irish citizens to avoid non-essential travel there.

A 'Do not travel' advisory remains in place for Italy.

Health Minister Simon Harris told Pat Kenny: "This is a precautionary measure, but it does seem sensible at this stage considering what's happening in Europe and what's happening in Ireland.

"If you've travelled to a country that we're now saying 'please don't travel to', that then on return to our country you would take precautionary measures.

"And that two weeks involves not going to work... and also restricting your movement, lessening your social contacts."

The UK is not part of the list of restrictions.

Mr Harris explained: "The Public Health Emergency Team did specifically consider Cheltenham last night and it has decided that they did not need to self-isolate on return.

"That's for a couple of reasons, but principally for the fact that the UK is not currently deemed to be the same as Spain or Italy.

"And indeed the other thing to remember - and I say this as reassurance to the pubic - you're actually more likely to pick this virus in your own home or your own workplace than you are at any mass gathering - particularly an outdoor mass gathering".

Mr Harris also said the Government will next week be asking civic society and individuals to "step up and help us".

"We can't stop the virus coming to Ireland... but we can make sure the surge doesn't all come at once".

A HSE coronavirus helpline has been set up on 1850-24-1850


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Cheltenham Coronavirus Covid-19 Ireland Italy Simon Harris Spain Travel Restrictions

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