Irish authorities imposed tighter restrictions in Dublin on Saturday, September 19, following an increase in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the city. Restrictions levels have been increased to Level 3 (third on a five-tier scale), meaning that travel to and from Dublin is banned for most reasons, with travel for work, education, and other essential purposes exempt, and public transportation reserved for essential workers. People have been asked to work from home if possible. Indoor cultural venues, such as museums, galleries, cinemas, will be closed, and libraries are limited to e-services and collection, which are to be arranged in advance via phone. Restaurants and cafes are limited to takeaway options, although those that can provide outdoor seating may host up to 15 people. Bars that do not serve food are to remain closed, and will not reopen in line with other bars throughout Ireland on Monday, September 21. Gatherings of more than 15 people are banned, although weddings and funerals may go ahead with up to 25 guests from Monday. Visits to private homes may take place but are limited to one other household with no more than 6 people involved.
The rest of Ireland remains at Level 2, which means that visits to other households are permitted, provided they do not involve more than three households and six people in total. Indoor and outdoor events involving 50 people are also permitted. Working from home is encouraged and face masks must be worn in most indoor public spaces.
As of Sunday, September 20, health authorities have confirmed a total of 32,538 COVID-19 cases with 1792 associated deaths in Ireland. Further 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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