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Department looking to restrict non-essential travel from 'third countries' with high virus rates

Options from the Department of Health will be finalised “as soon as possible”.

Image: PA Images

THE DEPARTMENT OF Health is preparing options to restrict non-essential travel from countries outside of the EU and UK with high rates of Covid-19, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has confirmed. 

Donnelly said he is concerned about the high rate of Covid-19 in some countries and that options will be finalised “as soon as possible”.

“While travel related cases here remain small, some countries are seeing a rapid rise in cases so the risk is increasing,” he said.

Once proposals are finalised they will be presented to Government for discussion.

Today’s Sunday Independent reported that under new proposals from the Department of Health, visitors arriving here from hotspots including the United States and Brazil will be put on a so-called “red list”.

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A spokesperson for Donnelly told the paper that the Minister for Health is keen to make it clear the proposals would not make any changes to the current green list system that, which is reviewed every two weeks.

There are currently no travel bans in Ireland, or “red list” of countries from which visitors are prohibited. Passengers from all countries, except those on the Government’s “green list”, are advised to restrict their movements for 14 days. 

Although travel-related cases remain low, there are concerns that cases in other countries continue to rise. 

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