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Dublin: 8°C Tuesday 7 December 2021

Irish citizens are being promised "around-the-clock" support during the Rio games

The Department of Foreign Affairs says it’s there to help.

Rio Olympics Rowing Athletes warm up during rowing team practices at the Lagoon Stadium. Source: Matt York/PA Images

THE OFFICIAL SAFETY advice for Irish people heading to the Olympic Games in Rio is basically, exercise caution but no more than you usually would while abroad.

Launching the Department of Foreign Affairs travel advice for citizens travelling to the games, Minister Charlie Flanagan says that the government is expecting,

the same exemplary behaviour we saw from Irish soccer fans in France at the Euros.

The Rio games will officially begin with an opening ceremony this Friday and Flanagan said he expects up to 1,000 Irish fans to travel out over the course of the two weeks.

Concerns over the security of fans at the games have focused on the potential for them to be victims of crime rather than terrorism, an issue that was dominant in the run-up to the Euros in France.

While the department’s current advice for Irish people going to France is to exercise a “high degree of caution”, advice in Brazil remains that they should follow “normal precautions”.

“As far as travelling is concerned, for those traveling to Brazil I would strongly advise that they follow the local advice,” Flanagan said at a press conference today, noting the extra policing that will be in force in Rio during the games.

Ireland does not have a full-time consulate in Rio de Janeiro, but a temporary consulate will be in operation for the duration of the games to deal with any issues for Irish citizens.

Flanagan says this consulate will offer “round-the-clock” support for Irish citizens.

Extra staff have been deployed and the Irish embassy in Brasilia and a consulate in Sao Paulo will also continue to operate during the games. 

As regards Zika, the department says its advice is for pregnant women to consider postponing their travel to Brazil. Similar advice is also in place for other parts of Latin America, the Caribbean and now Florida.

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A wider caution against travel has not been deemed necessary though with Flanagan advising people to protect themselves from mosquito bites and to exercise “a normal degree of caution in general”.

IMG_3249 The department#s TravelWise app. Source: TheJournal.ie

Flanagan is also encouraging Irish people travelling to the games to download the department’s TravelWise smartphone app which covers 200 countries.

The app provides all the important phone numbers Irish travellers might need, including those of Irish officials in Brazil

The app will also send receive customised security alerts and up-to-date information from the Department of Foreign Affairs if needed during the games. 

The Irish Embassy in Brasilia or the Irish Consulate in São Paulo  can be contacted at + 55 61 3248 8800.

Read: Fans at Euro 2016 can download an app that will send them security alerts >

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Rónán Duffy

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