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Foreign travel and coronavirus

As the World Health Organization recently classified COVID-19 (coronavirus) as a global pandemic, we thought that it may be helpful to take a look at the implications for anyone who is travelling from Ireland, or returning home from overseas, at this time. Let’s run over the key coronavirus travel advice.

Please note – for the latest travel advice from the Irish Government see the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website for up-to-date travel advice about countries impacted by COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

What should I do on returning to Ireland from abroad?

If you have returned from one of the following countries, the Government is advising that you will need to self-quarantine for 14 days:

  • China
  • Italy
  • Spain (including Spanish islands)
  • South Korea
  • Iran

Note – the list of higher-risk countries (above) was accurate on 16/03/2020. Please check the HSE travel advice website for an up-to-date list of higher-risk countries.

For further information about how to protect yourself and others from Coronavirus, see our other recently published article Coronavirus – how to protect yourself and others.

 

How do you self-quarantine after travel?

If you need to self-quarantine after returning from a higher-risk country, the current Government advice is to –

  • Avoid contact with other people and social situations, as much as possible.
  • Self-quarantine is to stop others from catching coronavirus from you.

 

What’s the difference between self-quarantine and self-isolation?

The Government advises that you need to self-quarantine if you’ve returned from a high-risk country or if you are a close contact of someone that is a confirmed case of coronavirus. Self-quarantine is required if you meet those criteria but you are not currently showing symptoms yourself.

If you are showing symptoms of coronavirus yourself, you will need to self-isolate. Self-isolating means staying indoors as much as possible and completely avoiding contact with others.

You need to self-isolate if:

  • You have symptoms of coronavirus.
  • Before you get tested for the virus.
  • While you wait for test results.
  • If you’ve had a positive test for coronavirus.

In summary – if you’ve returned from a high-risk area, or you’ve been in contact with a confirmed case, you need to self-quarantine. If you have symptoms of coronavirus, you need to self-isolate.

 

Self-quarantine if you’ve returned from a high-risk area or you’ve been in contact with a confirmed case. Self-isolate if you have symptoms of coronavirus.

 

Don’t wait, phone your local GP for specific advice about your personal circumstances. Your GP may perform an assessment on the phone and will arrange a test if necessary.

 

What should I do if I feel unwell after travelling?

If you have recently returned from one of the countries listed above and you feel unwell, you should phone your local GP. Your GP will perform an assessment on the phone and will arrange testing if necessary.

If you’re a local person in Cork and you’re worried about travel, you’re also welcome to speak with your local pharmacy team here at Irwin’s pharmacies, simply call 021 4304165 or click to contact us online.

 

Is it safe to travel abroad right now?

There are some countries and regions where there is a higher chance of coming into contact with someone who has Coronavirus. If you are planning to travel abroad, from Ireland, you can phone can the Department of Foreign Affairs’ dedicated phone line: (01) 613 1733 for the latest guidance about Covid-19 (Coronavirus).

Before travelling, you’re urged to check the latest information by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for up-to-date travel advice about countries impacted by COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

What should I do if I’m travelling abroad?

If you travel to an area with widespread local transmission of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the risk of contracting the virus is high. World Health Organization (WHO) publish daily information on rates of local transmission.

Irish citizens who are abroad, or who intend to travel abroad in the near future, can ring the Department of Foreign Affairs’ dedicated phone line: (01) 613 1733 for the latest guidance about Covid-19 (Coronavirus).

 

Speak to your local pharmacy team in Cork

If you’re in Cork and you’re worried about travel or the coronavirus more generally, you’re welcome to speak with your local Cork pharmacy team here at Irwin’s pharmacies. Call now on 021 4304165 or click to contact us online.