Dublin was due to host the Six Nations game between Ireland and Italy this weekend, with up to 5,000 Italian fans expected to fly in ahead of the match.

But after several Italian towns were placed on lockdown due to coronavirus, the game was cancelled.

With many having already made travel arrangements, some may decide to travel anyway.

For those heading to Dublin, here’s the latest travel advice.

Are there travel restrictions to Ireland?

At the moment, there are no travel restrictions to Ireland and there is no entry screening, following advice from World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC).

However, the Irish government has advised that special health protocols are in place for travellers.

Prior to disembarking, passengers will be told to “contact their GPs should they develop symptoms within the following 14 days”.

In the event of a suspected case, all passengers are giving dedicated forms that will help trace anyone who they may have been in contact with.

Airlines flying into Ireland will also need to decontaminate the aircraft according to WHO aviation hygiene standards.

Can you still travel to Ireland from Italy?

The Italian towns of Codogno, Castiglione d’Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo and San Fiorano (which are in Lombardy) and Vo’ (which is in Veneto) have been put into isolation and Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has advised Irish citizens not to visit them.

Despite this, there are no current flight restrictions between Ireland and Italy.

Irish carrier Ryanair says on its website, ”There is currently no change to advice for airlines. Our flights are operating as normal and all our terms and conditions apply.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and follow all public health instructions that are issued.”

However, the airline will be cancelling up to 25 per cent of its Italian short haul flights from 17 March to 8 April in response to coronavirus.

Ryanair said: “Over the past week, Ryanair has seen a significant drop in bookings over that late March/early April period, in response to the Covid-19 Virus. There has also been a significant step up in passenger no-shows on flights, particularly from and within Italy.”

At the moment, the Irish health service, HSE, only advises self isolation for those who have travelled to affected regions and are showing symptoms or think they may have come into contact with someone suffering from coronavirus.

Is there special advice for those visiting Dublin?

The short answer is no.

The best preventative measure against coronavirus is still to wash your hands frequently with soap or alcohol gel and to avoid touching your face with your hands. 

Is coronavirus already in Ireland?

The Republic of Ireland has one confirmed case of coronavirus as of 1 March.

The identity of the patient hasn’t been confirmed by the Irish government but he has been linked to a secondary school in the East of Ireland.

Dr. Tony Holohan, chief medical officer with the Department of Health, said: “Contact tracing has assessed that close contacts of this patient includes pupils and teachers of a secondary school. Public health doctors are in direct contact with pupils, their parents and the staff involved.

“Patient confidentiality in this case, and in all cases, should be respected. The Department of Health will provide updated information as necessary.”


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