Irish authorities will tighten coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions nationwide from Wednesday, October 7, until at least October 27, following an increase in cases in the country. Restrictions levels have been increased to Level 3 (third on a five-tier scale), with the following measures being implemented:
- Visits to private homes are limited to six people from two different households.
- Social family gatherings are suspended; weddings and funerals may take place but are capped at 25 attendees.
- Organized indoor gatherings are suspended while outdoor gatherings are limited to 15 people.
- Residents must remain in their counties of residence unless traveling for work, education, or other essential purposes.
- Working from home is required whenever possible. Public transport capacity is limited to 50 percent; residents are advised to use public transport only for essential purposes.
- Restaurants and cafes, as well as pubs and bars that serve food, are allowed to remain open for takeaway and delivery, as well as for outdoor dining for up to 15 people.
As of Monday, October 5, only travelers from Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Finland, Latvia, and Lichtenstein are allowed to enter the country without having to self-isolate upon arrival. All travelers, including Irish citizens, entering Ireland from other locations, must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. All travelers must also fill out a passenger locator form indicating the address where they will be staying.
As of October 5, health authorities have confirmed a total of 38,549 COVID-19 cases with 1810 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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