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Regulations being drawn up for new travel and home quarantine policies

Dr Tony Holohan said that the spread of Covid-19 is still “too high” in Ireland.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Gabija Gataveckaite

Regulations are being drawn up to put in place new travel and home quarantine policies.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) Epidemiological Surveillance Team met over the weekend to discuss the latest developments in relation to the Omicron variant.

While a meeting between Nphet and Coalition leaders is not yet scheduled, there is an expectation that public health officials will meet the heads of Government tomorrow to discuss their findings and latest recommendations.

In a statement tonight, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said that regulations are being drawn up by public health officials to policies around travel and home quarantine.

Tony Holohan

“Regulations are being drawn up to give effect to the new travel and home quarantine policies,” he said.

Dr Holohan said that the spread of Covid-19 is still “too high” in Ireland.

“While there is much attention on new variants, incidence of the Delta variant of Covid-19 remains too high in Ireland, with widespread infection in the community,” he said.

Dr Holohan said that people who have travelled from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa or Zimbabwe to Ireland since November 1 should “isolate and present for PCR testing, regardless of symptom status."

Dr Holohan also met with Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly today.

The Nphet Epidemiological Team met this weekend to discuss “further required measures” after Government moved to put in place travel restrictions last Friday.

The Cabinet sub-committee on Covid-19, which normally makes key decisions around restrictions ahead of a full Cabinet meeting, is not currently scheduled to meet on Monday.

It is envisaged that the full Cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning will then make final decisions on latest restrictions.

It is expected that Nphet advice on children wearing masks at school or avoiding nativity plays and pantos for the next two weeks will be given the green light by Cabinet. However, it will solely be on an advisory and not statutory basis.

Ministers will also consider extending Covid passes to other sectors such as gyms and hairdressers.

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