The HSE has advised people travelling to Ireland from the UK to self isolate for 14 days regardless of Covid test detecting or not detecting the virus.
Following a rapid increase in Covid-19 cases in London and South East England that are linked to a new strain of COVID-19, the HSE has announced it is taking a range of actions, including a rapid update for clinical teams nationwide, and issuing updated advice to people who have travelled to Ireland from Great Britain since December 8.
- UK travellers should self-isolate for a period of 14 days from the date of arrival into Ireland. The previous advice was to restrict movements for 14 days – this upgrades this advice from just staying at home, to staying in your room.
- They should arrange a COVID-19 test, by calling a GP or GP Out of Hours services. This should be done as soon as possible 5 days after arrival in Ireland.
- If they have already had a test privately, they need to complete 14 days of self-isolation, regardless of the result of your private test.
- If you develop any symptoms of COVID-19 at any stage, phone your GP and alert them of your recent travel from Great Britain.
- Should test results be ‘virus not detected’ the individual is asked to continue to self-isolate for the duration of the 14-day period, as they could still be developing symptoms and should protect others from potential risk.
- If a person has travelled from Great Britain, then you are asked not to visit a nursing home or long term residential facility until you have completed your 14 days of self-isolation.
Chief Clinical Officer, HSE Dr Colm Henry, stated:
However, early analysis of this new strain of COVID-19 suggests that it is significantly more transmissible than other strains but there is currently no information to suggest that this new strain leads to a more severe COVID-19 infection. We don’t yet know if the virus has spread outside Great Britain, but we may see cases in Ireland. Our current protective actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are still the best protection we have against all strains of this virus’.
Dr Henry continued: “This is a stricter form of advice than the standard “restrict movements” advice that would otherwise apply to persons travelling to Ireland, but our priorities must be to keep our friends and family safe over Christmas. I am asking all those who have travelled to please heed this advice and show this meitheal spirit that we have seen throughout the pandemic.”