People are being advised to avoid travel to seven countries in southern Africa – and Irish residents already there, are being told to come home.
It’s after the World Health Organisation declared the new Covid strain ‘Omicron’ a ‘variant of concern’.
The countries affected are Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The strain has also now been detected in Belgium, the first European country to report a case of the Omicron variant.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly says hotel quarantine measures for some travellers will be considered again in the coming weeks: