The HSE is advising anyone who has arrived in Ireland from Britain to self-isolate for two weeks, regardless of Covid-19 test results.
That means that anyone who has arrived into Ireland from England, Scotland or Wales in the past 14 days is being told to have Christmas dinner alone in their room.
HSE chief clinical officer Dr Colm Henry said the advice was “painful but necessary”.
This is stricter advice than usual, the HSE has said. The warning comes following the emergence of a new strain of COVID-19 which is active in Great Britain. The mutant strain is spreading rapidly in London and South East England. It is not yet known if the new strain of COVID-19 is in Ireland, but as it is more easily spread than other strains of the virus, it is a greater risk.
“If you have already had a private COVID-19 test, you still need to complete 14 days of self-isolation, regardless of the result,” the HSE advice said.
Dr Colm Henry, speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland the isolation advice for British arrivals means “staying in their room at all times” unless they had to leave for “essential purposes”.
“We know how painful this is for people who have waited so long to come home” he said, but the action was necessary to “ensure you are not the agent of transmission of this new strain”.
More information on UK travel is available at: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/recently-arrived-into-ireland-from-britain.html