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Simon Harris speaking to the media last month at the Department of Health. Sam Boal/

Simon Harris back at work after Covid-19 test comes back negative

The health minister said that he was ‘delighted’ to be back at work.

HEALTH MINISTER SIMON Harris was forced to self-isolate for a number of days after displaying Covid-19 symptoms. 

Harris, who has led the government’s response to the coronavirus crisis, spent a number of days in self-isolation while waiting for the result of a test. The result came back negative. 

A spokesperson confirmed that Harris was referred for a test by his GP after feeling unwell. 

“He followed his doctors instructions and self-isolated at home for a number of days. The test result was negative,” the spokesperson said. 

“He is delighted to be back at work and wishes to thank all the staff in the testing centre and those who work on Ireland’s Covid-19 response,” they added.

The minister was back in public today and spoke to reporters ahead of a Cabinet decision on whether Ireland is ready to enter Phase Two of the easing of restrictions. 

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) is due to meet tomorrow and will make a recommendation to government thereafter.

“My general sense of it is that Phase 2 looks right to me,” he said when asked if measures from later phases may be brought forward to Phase 2.

“My gut is that if we get through Phase 1 and Phase 2 that would be a real confidence boost before we move on and see the big changes in Phases 3 and 4,” he said.

He said there is a “healthy debate” ongoing about the pace of the plan, but said he would prefer to move slower than too fast and then have to reverse some of the measures.

With reporting from Christina Finn

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