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Monday 25 September 2023 Dublin: 16°C
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# Covid-19
Leo Varadkar self isolating after positive Covid-19 antigen test
The CMO has not recommended re-introducing measures to curb the spread of the virus.

TÁNAISTE LEO VARADKAR is self-isolating due to a positive antigen test.

It is understood that Varadkar tested negative yesterday when in Brussels.

His spokesperson has said he has some mild, intermittent symptoms but is otherwise well and intends to carry out any functions that he can virtually.

The Taoiseach travelled to Brussels yesterday for an EU Council meeting on the war in Ukraine after he was stuck in Washington DC due to Covid-19.

Martin left Washington on Wednesday following several days in isolation in the US after he tested positive for the virus ahead of his meeting with US President Joe Biden.

A spokesperson for the Taoiseach said that Martin would be attending the summit in Brussels after he received two successive negative tests before leaving Washington.

The Journal understands that there were consultations with Aer Lingus, Irish public health advisors in Brussels and the EU, which all advised that people can wait seven days following a positive test before travelling.

The Taoiseach first tested positive for the virus on Wednesday 16 March.

On Wednesday, it was confirmed that Justice Minister Helen McEntee had tested positive for Covid-19. The minister is working from home this week as a result. 

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly also said on Wednesday that he is currently isolating at home due to flu-like symptoms.

Donnelly confirmed that he had tested negative for Covid but that he would continue to isolate for the next 48 hours in line with public health advice.

Following an increase in the number of cases on the Leinster House campus it is understood that the Oireachtas is of the view that face covering wearing should return on site. 

Speaking from Brussels yesterday, the Taoiseach said that the Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan had not recommended re-introducing measures to curb the spread of the virus.

Martin said that he had spoken to Dr Tony Holohan in the past 48 hours.

“This current wave seems to be less impactful, less virulent, the CMO is of that view, than earlier variants and it doesn’t justify further economic restrictions.”

He did appeal to people to wear masks in crowded places, despite the legal requirement having lifted.

Varadkar told his parliamentary party meeting this week that he was concerned about the current surge in Covid cases, stating that on his recent visit to Blanchardstown Hospital it was very busy.

However, he noted that the situation is similar to a bad flu season.

The CMO and public health advisers don’t see the need for increased restrictions, he said, adding that the Omicron variant is less severe.

“We’re a highly vaccinated population and we don’t impose economic and social restrictions for a bad flu season,” he said.

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