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Simon Harris: Anyone returning from Spain and Italy will be asked to restrict movements for two weeks

The Health Minister made the announcement today.

HEALTH MINISTER SIMON Harris says that any person returning from Spain and Italy from today will be asked to restrict their movements for two weeks.

He told RTÉ Morning Ireland this morning that the decision was recommended by the National Public Health Emergency Team last night.

He said that people who return from Spain and Italy will be given information at the airport that will tell them they have to restrict their movements for two weeks. This means not going to work and lessening their social contacts.

They will be met by environmental health officers in the airport from today who will provide them with the information. This is not self-isolating, but is about restricting movements, said Harris.

“All we can do is flatten that curve, make sure we don’t all get it at the same time,” he said.

He said that people are more likely to get the virus in their home from bad practice and hand hygiene than other situations such as being on a plane or at Cheltenham.

Harris also said that the restrictions are being constantly reviewed and will be extended if needed. He said that they will be continued if necessary and if they prove to have a benefit.

The government has a ‘suite of measures’ but has to introduce them at the correct times, said the Minister. He said that they will be following the science and listening to the country’s Chief Medical Officer.

“Let’s not just hope they work, let’s all as citizens abide by them,” he said.

Harris said that Ireland has been undertaking contact tracing and that doctors are encouraging people to come forward, and get tested. “That is something I’m not sure other countries have been doing effectively,” he said, adding that Ireland is going to ramp up its public health in regard to contact tracing.

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