People who arrived in Ireland from the UK after 11 December should eat Christmas dinner in their room – HSE 3 months ago

People who arrived in Ireland from the UK after 11 December should eat Christmas dinner in their room – HSE

The government has issued strict advice for people who have arrived in Ireland from the UK since 8 December.

People who have arrived in Ireland from the UK since 11 December should eat Christmas dinner in their room as part of self-isolation measures to combat the potential spread of a new variant of Covid-19, the HSE has said.

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Speaking on Morning Ireland on Wednesday, Chief Clinical Officer of the HSE, Dr Colm Henry, confirmed what he described as “painful” advice for the many thousands of people who have arrived in the country from the UK in the last two weeks.

Henry’s advice comes after the HSE issued “stricter advice than usual” for arrivals in Ireland from the United Kingdom following the spread of a new strain of Covid-19 which is more easily spread than other strains of the virus.

That advice includes a directive to self-isolate (stay in your room) for 14 days from the date of arrival into Ireland since 8 December.

The advice also directs that a period of 14 days of self-isolation should be completed even in the event that someone has had a private Covid-19 test, regardless of the result.

Asked specifically whether people who have arrived in Ireland from the UK since 11 December (14 days before Christmas) should eat Christmas dinner in their room, Dr Henry replied: “Sadly it does mean isolation in your room.”

“I appreciate not just how inconvenient this is but how painful this is for people who’ve waited so long to come home.”

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Henry said that people who have arrived in Ireland from the UK should be “staying in their room at all times” during the 14-day self-isolation period and that they should only leave for “essential purposes”.

A UK travel ban was extended until 31 December as part of new measures announced by the government on Tuesday, which will see Ireland return to Level 5 restrictions, with specific exceptions, from tomorrow.

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A number of transport options to facilitate the return of Irish citizens stranded in the United Kingdom have been organised in recent days, including two Ryanair flights due to arrive in Dublin from London and Manchester respectively later tonight.