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Dublin: 5°C Sunday 11 April 2021

People coming to Ireland from Denmark must restrict movements due to mutated coronavirus strain

The mutated strain has not been reported on Irish mink farms.

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File photo
Image: RollingNews.ie

ANYONE ARRIVING FROM Denmark into Ireland will be asked to restrict their movements for two weeks due to a new strain of coronavirus that has emerged in Danish mink farms.

The new restrictions will include people travelling for essential reasons after the new strain of coronavirus spread to humans from mink in Denmark.

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan has confirmed the move. 

“People will have to self-isolate for 14 days no matter what. People coming from Denmark, there isn’t huge numbers, but we are following the health advice, similar to what’s going on in the UK,” said Ryan, speaking on RTÉ’s Saturday with Katie Hannon.

The strain has not been reported on Irish mink farms, and both the Heath Surveillance Protection Centre and National Virus Reference Laboratory have confirmed that no cases of the mutation have been reported in Ireland.

There are currently three Irish mink farms, and the Department of Agriculture confirmed that no mink have been imported in 2020.

The Department of Agriculture also has said that it will be carrying out testing on all three farms to see if the virus is present in Irish mink. 

According to the Department of Health, the HSE will be carrying out serial testing of all mink farm workers as well as their household contacts.

Denmark was forced to cull all of their mink, due to the mutated strain spreading from animals to humans. 

The mutation “could pose a risk that future (coronavirus) vaccines won’t work the way they should,” said Denmark’s Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen.

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As the worlds largest producer of mink fur, Denmark has 1,080 mink farms, with Covid-19 being detected on 207 of them.

According to the World Health Organisation, on 5 November, health authorities in Denmark reported 12 cases of Covid-19 that were caused by a mink-associated strain of the novel coronavirus.

Eight of these cases had links to mink farms, while the remaining four were from the local community.

Lab tests conducted then found that this strain may have reduced response to neutralising antibodies from Covid-19, according to the WHO.

Additional reporting by AFP & Press Association 

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