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'A grave concern': NPHET's Philip Nolan urges public to reconsider travelling abroad as imported Covid-19 cases rise

Earlier this week, Nolan also revealed that 13 cases of the virus have been imported from countries including Bangladesh, India, and Portugal.

PROFESSOR PHILIP NOLAN, who chairs the epidemiological modelling advisory group at the National Public Health Emergency Team, has urged the public to consider whether travelling abroad is a “luxury or necessity” as the number of Covid-19 cases in Ireland related to travel has increased. 

Nolan shared date on Twitter which showed a steady week-on-week increase in the transmission of the virus as a result of travel. 

“New travel-related Covid-19 infections a grave concern. A surge seeded by travel is a risk to public health, to healthcare workers, to the vulnerable in our community,” he said. 

“We can protect them by foregoing our holiday abroad. A useful question for any activity: luxury or necessity?”

Earlier this week, Nolan also revealed that 13 cases of the virus have been imported from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Portugal, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the US in the last two weeks. 

He echoes similar concerns raised by chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan who said NPHET is still examining ways in which air bridges can be safely introduced and suggested the public should consider holidaying in Ireland this year. 

‘Ireland, Make a break for it

On Thursday, Fáilte Ireland revealed its new ‘Ireland, make a break for it’ marketing campaign to boost tourism and encourage members of the public to explore locations across Ireland. 

The National Tourism Development Authority is also launching a new Covid-19 Safety Charter initiative designed to boost public confidence in the safety of businesses as the tourism sector – many of which will reopen their doors from tomorrow. 

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In spite of evidence from NPHET that more people are travelling abroad now that restrictions are easing, data compiled by Fáilte Ireland revealed that nine out of 10 people  planning domestic holidays have concerns about the appropriate safety measures being in place. 

“Fáilte Ireland’s latest research tells us that while Irish people are planning their domestic holiday they are extremely concerned about safety,” CEO Paul Kelly said. 

“Almost nine in 10 (87%) want to ensure that the appropriate safety measures are in place if they are to consider taking a domestic break in Ireland this year.”

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