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no symptoms Helen McEntee restricting her movements after close contact with possible Covid-19 case

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Helen McEntee Photo: Frank McGrath/Irish Independent

Helen McEntee Photo: Frank McGrath/Irish Independent

Helen McEntee Photo: Frank McGrath/Irish Independent

Justice Minister Helen McEntee is restricting her movements due to being a close contact of someone who displayed Covid-19 symptoms.

Ms McEntee was due to debate justice legislation in the Dáil this afternoon but was forced to ask Minister of State James Browne to deputise for her in the chamber.

Asked why she did not take the legislation on money laundering and terrorism, Ms McEntee’s spokesperson said she was taking precautions due to being a closed contact of someone who is awaiting a Covid-19 test result.

“The minister is restricting her movements due to being a close contact of someone who is going for a Covid test after displaying symptoms,” he said.

Ms McEntee recently announced she was pregnant and is expecting her new born in May next year.

At present it is not necessary for the minister to take a test as she is not displaying symptoms.

Separately, Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced he was taking precautions due to being a close contact of French President Emmanuel Macron tested positive for Covid-19.

Mr Martin met Mr Macron at last week's marathon European Council summit in Brussels. The Taoiseach tested negative upon his return from the Belgian capital last Friday.

A spokesman for the Taoiseach confirmed: "As a precaution, the Taoiseach has been limiting his movements and contacts. He's got a test and it should be turned around in the next couple of hours. We'll know the status by mid-to-late afternoon." The spokesman confirmed that Mr Martin's events for the rest of the day have been postponed in the meantime.

A number of ministers have been forced to restrict their movement due to concerns about the coronavirus but to date none have tested positive.

The Dáil was suspended briefly earlier this year when Health Minister Stephen Donnelly displayed symptoms. However, it later emerged he had not tested positive.

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