NPHET is urging people who are not fully vaccinated to cancel any plans to holiday abroad.
Last weekend, Newstalk revealed that the percentage of COVID cases linked to international travel had doubled this month.
Yesterday, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn warned that cases linked to foreign travel had “increased very sharply” – with around 800 in the last two weeks.
It comes as the restrictions on international were lifted with this week’s rollout of the EU Digital Covid Certificate.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, the Chair of the NPHET modelling group Professor Philip Nolan said people should postpone their travel plans until they are fully vaccinated.
“We can see a significant amount of travel in people who are not yet vaccinated,” he said. “That is a real risk to them. They could end up severely ill. Not many of them but some of them will end up severely ill.
“More worryingly, they may infect somebody they love very much that is vaccinated but is unfortunate enough to get a significant or severe infection.
“So, we are not so much concerned about this fuelling the next wave of the epidemic. It is now doing that; it is a relatively minor contributor in the grand scheme of things to the amount of transmission we are seeing on the island.
“But it is important. It is important because it is an unvaccinated population and it presents a risk to them and risk to others.
“It is a reiteration of the advice for high-rick activities like indoor socialising and travel – we are asking unvaccinated people to postpone their plans to do those things until they are protected.”
He said people should wait for their vaccine to be fully effective before they travel.
“Get your vaccine, wait for it to be effective – wait the seven days after your second dose of Pfizer, wait the 14 days after your final dose of the other vaccines – and in the meantime avoid those high-risk activities,” he said.
“They are not safe for you and if you pick it up, they are not safe for the people you might pass this virus on to – the people you love.
“So, it is tough but can we wait the few weeks and avoid those high-risk indoor socialisation and travel activities until you are protected through vaccination.”
Professor Nolan also encourage people to “stick to the basics” over the coming weeks as Ireland responds to the Delta wave.
“We’re exhausted, it is summer, we wish it was all over and we are just letting it slip,” he said.
“We are up in each other’s faces, we are sharing our droplets, sprays and aerosols and that is how the virus is transmitting.”
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