Passengers arriving in Ireland from Britain advised to take antigen tests for five days

THE GOVERNMENT HAS announced that all passengers arriving in Ireland from Britain are advised to undertake daily antigen tests for five consecutive days.

The first of five tests should be done completed on the day of arrival, and people are advised to self-isolate immediately and seek a PCR test if they develop symptoms or have a positive antigen test. 

It comes after the Department of Health confirmed that there are now six confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in Ireland with a number of other probable cases are under investigation.

Speaking this evening, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that those arriving in Ireland from Britain should exercise “a very high degree of caution”.

“When you’re traveling, your vaccination status is important. If you have the opportunity to get the booster before you travel, you should take it before you travel and to adopt a cautious approach,” he told the Tonight Show. 

Martin emphasised that the measure “is advice” and “not regulatory”, describing it as “an additional precaution”. 

When asked how curbing international travel would help given the variant is already in Ireland, he said: “We’re not curbing. We’re taking steps to protect people, to say to people to be conscious of this. Slowing it down, getting the booster out, I think, will give us adequate protection.”

In a statement this evening, the Government said it had received “an updated public health assessment in relation to the Omicron variant” and a number of travel-related measures have now been agreed. 

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The measures have been agreed while “taking account of relevant factors”, including the intention to continue to align with the overall European Union approach to travel, and the particular circumstances of the Common Travel Area.

The government will also update its Covid-19 communications, urging any prospective overseas traveller to seek a booster vaccine, if eligible, and to consider their own health, vaccine status and the local spread of Omicron before making a decision on travelling.

The current requirement for all overseas passengers to have a “not-detected” pre-departure Covid test, whether it be antigen or PCR, will continue to apply. 

Airlines and ferry companies will continue to check pre-departure test compliance, with spot-checking by border management officials also maintained at points of arrival. 

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