Over the past 4 days, we’ve received 98 emails from people asking about the Coronavirus in Ireland.
The emails have mainly come from those that are due to visit Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day, with people starting to panic about the current/potential situation.
Below, you’ll find out everything you’ll need to know if you’re visiting Ireland and you’re worried about the virus.
You’ll find information on what to expect at Irish airports, what to do if you suspect you have the virus when you’re here along with other relevant info.
**March 12th update**
On Thursday, March 12th, Taoiseach (Ireland’s prime minister) Leo Varadkar announced a number of new measures that will take effect from 18:00 today until the 29th of March.
In the statement, Varadkar said that indoor gatherings of 100+ people and outdoor gatherings of 500+ people should be cancelled.
He went on to add that, where physically possible, companies should encourage staff to work remotely. Schools, colleges and childcare facilities will all close from Friday, March 13th.
Avoid contact with people as much as physically possible. Avoid situations and places, where there are/will be large groups of people. Social distancing is absolutely necessary.
Is the Coronavirus in Ireland?
Yes, it is. The first reported case of the Coronavirus in Ireland was reported on February 29th, 2020. There have been a number of other confirmed cases since (info below).
According to the HSE (Health Service Executive), Ireland is currently in ‘the containment phase of the response’.
This means that the health service is currently taking actions to prevent or limit the spread of the coronavirus in Ireland.
How many cases are there of the Coronavirus in Ireland?
At the time of writing (13:00 on Tursday, March 12th) there are 43 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Ireland.
Is the Coronavirus in Northern Ireland?
Yes – there are now, at the time of writing (13:00 on Tursday, March 12th) 18 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in Northern Ireland.
What to expect if you’re flying into Ireland
OK, so you’re flying into Ireland over the coming days or weeks and you’re wondering what to expect.
If you’re due to arrive today, March 7th, the below is up-to-date. If you’re due to arrive any time after, make sure the check the HSE website for the latest updates.
Before you get off the plane
So, there are currently no travel restrictions to Ireland. There’s also no screening required upon entry, following advice from the World Health Organization.
If you arrive by plane, expect to receive some advice about the Coronavirus in Ireland before you depart the aircraft.
You’ll be advised to contact a GP (Doctor) should you develop symptoms within the 14 days following your arrival.
If someone on your flight thinks they have the virus
This literally just happened to a friend of mine. If someone on your flight is worried that they may have the virus, and they alert cabin crew, you’ll be required to fill out a form.
If it’s confirmed that the passenger did in-fact have the Coronavirus, you’ll be contacted and informed of what to do next.
There’s some chatter online about temperature checks at Dublin Airport now that the Coronavirus is in Ireland
The HSE has stated that, following advice from experts, there is currently no need for temperature checks on passengers arriving into Irish airports.
For those visiting for St. Patrick’s Day
If you’re visiting Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day, note that the majority of parades have been cancelled.
You can expect that all parades are likely to be cancelled after the announcement made on March 12th (see the top of this article for more info).
What is the risk of catching the Coronavirus in Ireland?
The HSE (Health Service Executive) have stated that the risk of catching the Coronavirus in Ireland is still ‘low to moderate’, at the time of writing (04:10 on Saturday, March 7th).
They have emphasised that this may change, which is why it’s important to keep an eye on reputable sources for news updates.
How to protect yourself
The ways to protect yourself from the Coronavirus are pretty straightforward, for the most part. A big part of prevention is keeping your hands clean.
If you can, carry around a little bottle of alcohol gel and wash your hands regularly. Apparently, many places are sold out of these bottles, but you should be able to dig some up from somewhere.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub/gel
- When coughing and sneezing, keep your mouth and nose covered (it’s advised that you cover them with a flexed elbow or tissue )
- After sneezing of coughing, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub/gel or use some soap and water
- Maintain distance (1 metre/3 feet) from people, particularly those that are coughing or sneezing
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as, if your hands are contaminated, you can transfer the coronavirus from the surface to yourself
Symptoms of Coronavirus
Keep in mind that it can take up to 14 days for symptoms of coronavirus to appear. The most common symptoms of coronavirus are:
- A cough
- Shortness of breath
- Breathing difficulties
If you have these symptoms and have been to China, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Iran, Japan or Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna or Piedmont in Italy you need to call a GP or the local emergency department ASAP.
What not to do
The HSE have emphasised that under no circumstances should you go directly to a Doctors Surgery or Emergency Department – you need to call them first.
You’ll need to tell them about your symptoms and offer some insight into your situation. They’ll be able to advise you as to what to do next.
What to do if you’re currently in Ireland with the symptoms (and you don’t have a GP)
The HSE advises that those without a GP phone 112 or 999 if they suspect that they have the symptoms of the virus.
Updates on the Coronavirus in Ireland
If you’re travelling to Ireland and you’re worried about the Coronavirus, I can’t recommend following REPUTABLE sources enough.
Here are a number of websites where you can get info on Coronavirus in Ireland updates:
Keith O’Hara has lived in Ireland for 34 years and has spent most of the last 10 years creating what is now The Irish Road Trip guide. Over the years, the website has published thousands of meticulously researched Ireland travel guides, welcoming 30 million+ visitors along the way. In 2022, the Irish Road Trip team published the world’s largest collection of Irish Road Trip itineraries. Keith lives in Dublin with his dog Toby and finds writing in the 3rd person minus craic altogether.