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06th Jun 2021

WHO warns of Covid-19 risk if people are “jam-packed together” even outdoors

Clara Kelly

population of Ireland

“If you’re jam-packed together outdoors you still have a much higher risk of getting infected”.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned of a greater risk of Covid-19 infection if people are “jam-packed together” even in outdoor settings.

WHO Doctor Margaret Harris said that while the majority of super-spreader events occurred indoors, there is still a risk of increasing infection if people are too close together outdoors for prolonged periods of time.

On Newstalk Breakfast on Sunday, Dr Harris said that being outdoors in close contact for more than 15 minutes can “still put you at risk” and urged people to exercise caution while socialising outdoors.

She said: “If you’re jam-packed together outdoors you still have a much higher risk of getting infected than if you’re outdoor enjoying the space but keeping your distance.

“Everyone needs to keep the three c’s in mind for the whole summer – avoid close contact for long period of time; avoid crowding; and avoid being in confined, closed spaces.

“When you’re outdoors you’ve eliminated one of those – the confined, closed spaces. But the crowding and being in physical close contact for a considerable period of time – I’m talking more than 15 minutes – still puts you at risk.”

Dr Harris’s comments come as 19 people were arrested for public order offences as Gardaí dispersed crowds in Dublin City Centre on Saturday night.

Between approximately 7pm and 9pm on 5 June, Gardaí dispersed crowds from Stephen’s Green, Temple Bar and South William Street.

In total, 19 people were arrested for public order offences in Dublin City Centre, including two juveniles who were released and referred for Juvenile Diversion Programme.

Six persons received the Adult Caution, one person was released pending a summons for public order offences, while 10 people were charged with public order offences and will appear in court at a later date.

A Gardaí spokesperson added that members of An Garda Síochána “came under attack from glass bottles at various locations” throughout the evening.

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