People returning to Ireland from Spain or Italy asked to restrict movements 2 months ago

People returning to Ireland from Spain or Italy asked to restrict movements

"Not quite self-isolate."

Minister for Health Simon Harris has asked anybody returning to Ireland from Spain or Italy to restrict their movements over the coming weeks.

Those entering the country from these areas are not being asked to self isolate, but to work from home if possible and to reduce their social interactions until March 29.

This follow up precautionary measure comes after last night's National Public Health Emergency Team meeting.

Harris told RTÉ's Morning Ireland that the decision was made to lessen the spread of the coronavirus.

"It is not quite self-isolate, but to restrict their movements," he said.

"Anyone returning from Italy and Spain will be met by environmental health workers on their return at the airport and told to restrict their movements.

"Where we are telling people it is unnecessary to travel to, we will then have to ask them to take additional precautions when they return to this country."

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced yesterday that all schools, colleges, and childcare facilities will be closing for two weeks due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

He recommended that where possible, people should work from home and that people entering Ireland via airports should self isolate if they begin to experience symptoms.

It was also recommended that all indoor gatherings of more than 100 people and outdoor gatherings of more than 500 people be cancelled.

"You can all play your part by handwashing, coughing and sneezing into your elbow or tissue and seeking medical advice if you develop symptoms," he added.

"This is more important than ever."

Minister Harris added this morning that those returning from the UK, specifically Cheltenham, should be extra vigilant but that there is no restrictions currently in place.

Ireland now has 70 confirmed cases of coronavirus. Northern Ireland has 20 confirmed cases.

The public has been asked to practice social distancing until March 29.