Decision on international travel proposals expected today

Cabinet ministers will decide this morning whether everyone coming into Ireland should need to have a negative Covid test.

Public Health officials made the advice last night after updating Government party leaders on the Omicron variant.

Last night CMO Dr Tony Holohan met the three Government party leaders and Health Minister Stephen Donnelly along with Ronan Glynn, Philip Nolan and Cillian de Gascun.

The meeting heard the number of new cases has stabilised in recent days but at high levels.

During an update on the Omicron variant health officials said it would be another two weeks before there’s a clearer understanding of the risk posed.

Cabinet will consider requiring everyone arriving into Ireland to have a negative Covid test, regardless of vaccine status, within 72 hours pre-travel.

It would have to be a negative laboratory test – so a PCR test or a medically supervised antigen test, rather than one done at home.

The measures are expected to apply to all flights and ferries into Ireland, including from Great Britain.

It’s expected Ministers will also advise children under 12 should be limited to one indoor social activity a week outside schools.

While NPHET recommended a two week ban, Cabinet are likely to ask parents to strictly limit the social activity of children.

For example, in that scenario children could go to a pantomime one week, and a playdate the next.

NPHET warned infection rates among 5 to 11 year olds and their families are still very high.


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