The first case of the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 has been detected in Ireland.
NPHET confirmed the news today after genome sequencing was carried out on eight samples suspected of containing the variant.
The positive case was associated with travel to a country where Omicron has been detected in recent weeks.
Cases of the new variant identified in Europe so far have involved people with no symptoms or mild symptoms, the European Centre for Disease Control said.
The government has announced updated travel measures for all passengers travelling to Ireland from scheduled States.
In the first instance, the current advice remains that all non-essential travel to or from these states should be avoided: If you have travelled from any of Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa or Zimbabwe to Ireland since 1 November you should isolate and present for PCR testing, regardless of symptom status. This can be booked for free on HSE.ie. If you are travelling to or from a scheduled State for an essential purpose, you should continue to monitor www.gov.ie/travel for any further updates.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health said: “The key focus for all of us must be to continue to suppress the current wave of infection that is driven by the Delta variant of COVID-19. We know how to break the chains of transmission of this virus. The measures with which we are all so familiar have worked against previous variants of COVID-19, they can successfully supress transmission of the Delta variant and we are optimistic that they will work against the Omicron variant.”