Irish authorities reintroduced some restrictions in Kildare, Laois, and Offaly counties on Friday, August 7, due to a rise in confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections. With the new restrictions, restaurants, pubs, and cafes in these counties will only provide outdoor services for a period of at least two weeks. Residents of Kildare, Laois, and Offaly will only be permitted to leave their counties for limited purposes.
On Tuesday, August 4, the Republic of Ireland announced that it would be postponing the scheduled Phase 4 easing of COVID-19 measures. As a result, pubs and hotel bars will remain closed, and a limit on the size of gatherings remains in place. Phase 4 would see gatherings of up to 500 people permitted to gather outdoors and 50 indoors, whereas Phase 3 measures mean a maximum of 200 people can meet outdoors, and 50 indoors. The decision to delay the reopening will be reviewed in three weeks.
Irish authorities eased foreign travel quarantine restrictions from July 20. A list of "green" countries, which are considered to represent a low risk of infection, was released on July 20. Those arriving from a country in the "green list" will no longer be subject to the 14-day self-quarantine requirements. However, quarantine requirements will remain in place for all countries which are not included in the list. Those arriving from higher-risk locations will still be required to fill out a Passenger Locator Form on arrival and self-isolate for two weeks. Authorities may contact people to confirm they are following the required procedure. As of August 4, Cyprus, Malta, Gibraltar, San Marino, and Monaco have been removed from the list of countries from which travelers would not have to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Ireland entered phase 3 of its 4-phased plan to reopen the country on June 29. Face masks are compulsory on public transport, restaurants, and shops. Barbershops, churches, theatres, cinemas, and gyms reopened under certain hygiene conditions. People are allowed to resume domestic travel.
As of August 7, there have been 26,470 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland, and 1772 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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