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Ireland introduces additional anti-Covid measures

Ireland introduces additional anti-Covid measures

They aim to stop transmission in the community. Vaccine boosters have been approved for people aged 50 to 59

Following public health advice, the Irish government has agreed additional measures aimed at stemming the spread of COVID-19 in the community. According to the government, the new curbs have been prompted by the uncertain and worrisome epidemic situation which may further deteriorate depending on the levels of social contact, adherence to basic public health protective measures, and levels of immunity across the population.

"We need to act now to deal with this surge," said Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Micheál Martin, addressing the nation on the additional measures.

Restrictions at a glance

The following measures are coming into effect:

  • From 17 November, close contacts of infected persons in the same household who are fully vaccinated and show no symptoms should restrict their movements until they have received 3 negative antigen test results within 5 days.

From midnight 18 November:

  • Everyone should switch to working from home unless in-person presence in the workplace is absolutely necessary.
  • Requirement for COVID-19 passes (based on vaccination or recovery) is extended to cinemas and theatres.
  • All on-licensed premises, including hotel bars and hotel residents’ bars, will close at midnight with all customers vacated from the premises by that time.

Vaccine booster programme extended

The booster vaccination programme will be extended to those aged 16-59 with underlying conditions and to those aged 50 to 59. Booster doses will be administered through both the pharmacies and vaccination centres. Currently, people aged over 60 in the community and residents in long-term care facilities, the immunocompromised, and healthcare workers are eligible for booster shots.

This week, the Health Service Executive (HSE) said 40 percent of people in hospitals are unvaccinated although they constitute just 7 percent of the adult population. Regarding Intensive Care Unit admissions, the unvaccinated comprise 52 percent and the partially vaccinated another 5 percent.

Vaccination alone not enough

HSE reminds that vaccination, however effective, cannot prevent transmission alone, urging for compliance with the established public health behaviours during the pandemic. These include prompt testing and isolation when presenting symptoms, wearing face masks, covering coughs and sneezes, keeping hands clean, ensuring adequate ventilation of indoor spaces, and maintaining social distancing.

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