First coronavirus case at EU offices in Brussels confirmed

First coronavirus case at EU offices in Brussels confirmed

The first case of coronavirus at the EU's offices in Brussels has been confirmed.

An employee of the European Defence Agency tested positive after returning from Italy.

Here, efforts are continuing to trace anyone who came into contact with a woman from the east of the country, who's the second person in Ireland to have Covid 19.

The Department of Foreign Affairs is now advising against all non-essential travel to Italy.

An expert in immunology, Prof Kingston Mills has called for more stringent measures to deal with the coronavirus and has asked if flights should still be going to Italy.

Commenting on the Government’s advice that people should only travel to Italy if their visit is “essential”, Prof Kingston asked “what is essential? How does an individual judge?”

Prof Mills agreed it might be a good idea for diplomatic channels to suggest to the Italian government that it ask its citizens not to travel to Ireland.

It comes as Ryanair confirms "a notable drop" in flight bookings for the end of March and into next month.

"We will proactively prune our schedule to and from those airports where travel has been most affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

"We will continue to comply fully with guidelines from National Governments, the WHO and EASA as they are updated on a regular basis, and will update the market in due course on any significant developments."

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