Coronavirus: Irish cabinet self-isolating over possible Covid case

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image copyrightOireachtas

image captionThe Dáil (Irish parliament) was initially adjourned but it is now understood it will sit again on Tuesday night

Members of the Irish cabinet have been told to restrict their movements after the country’s Health Minister Stephen Donnelly reported feeling unwell.

Mr Donnelly has contacted his GP for a Covid-19 test, RTÉ reports.

Initially it was believed that the cabinet would have to self-isolate and the Dáil (Irish parliament) would be adjourned indefinitely.

However, it is understood the Dáil could resume business on Tuesday night or Wednesday.

It is believed junior ministers may take questions from opposition parties in the place of senior ministers.

Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Micheál Martin told Irish broadcaster RTÉ that the decision for the cabinet to restrict their movements came from “an abundance of caution”.

image copyrightPA Media
image captionIrish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly felt unwell on Tuesday afternoon

RTÉ also reported that the action was taken following guidance from Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn, who is also now restricting his movements.

Minister for Climate Action, Communication Networks and Transport, Eamon Ryan, had already been isolating, as a member of his household awaits a test for Covid-19.

Mr Donnelly was present at a press conference on Tuesday morning when the Irish government unveiled a five-stage plan on living with Covid-19.

New Covid-19 plan

The plan outlined stricter rules for Dublin over the next few weeks because of the increase in infections in the city.

Pubs that do not serve food can reopen on 21 September, except in Dublin where they must stay closed

From midnight on Tuesday, household visits in the city will be limited to six people from one other household.

Elsewhere, the limit will remain at six visitors from up to three households.

Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Micheál Martin said it is designed to provide a roadmap on how to live with Covid-19 for the next six months.

He said level five is the most restrictive and similar to what happened during the lockdown in March.

He said the country is currently at level two but because of the situation Dublin there were special modifications for the capital.

image government news service
image captionHealth Minister Stephen Donnelly (right) was present at a press conference for a new Covid-19 plan on Tuesday morning

Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar told the news conference that virus cases have increased tenfold in Dublin over the last two months.

Mr Martin also told the news conference that Ireland would sign up for the European Commission’s travel plan.

That plan has yet to be unveiled but is known to include countries on green, amber and red lists.

He indicated that crowds of 200 people will be allowed attend sporting events where the capacity of a stadium is 5,000.

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