Covid-19: Number of US arrivals in Ireland a concern says health expert

Covid-19: Number of US arrivals in Ireland a concern says health expert
People wear facemasks as they arrive at Belfast City Airport. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

An expert in diseases has expressed serious concern at the prospect of further arrivals in Ireland from the US. 

Professor Sam McConkey Associate Professor at the Royal College of Surgeons and Head of the Department of International Health and Tropical Medicine said he is very worried about tourists arriving from the US by air in Ireland. 

Professor McConkey is also worried about future death rates in the US from Covid-19. 

"The death rates haven't really started to skyrocket there yet but it takes four-six-eight weeks for the deaths to come," Prof McConkey said.

"So I'm very pessimistic about how US cities are going to look in a few weeks time."

Prof McConkey also said that the possible spread of coronavirus by US tourists in Ireland could endanger rural areas that were not affected up to now. 

Prof McConkey said: "I think we certainly don't want folks coming in from there to reinfect especially rural parts of Ireland that haven't had Covid-19 very much."

The health expert's comments come as Ireland records no new deaths today from the coronavirus. 

People arriving in Northern Ireland from more than 50 countries including France, Spain, Germany and Italy are now no longer required to quarantine. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
People arriving in Northern Ireland from more than 50 countries including France, Spain, Germany and Italy are now no longer required to quarantine. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

The new Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has reiterated the government's guidance on travel arrivals into Ireland and said people must self-isolate for 14 days. 

The Minister for Health said: "Anyone who is planning on coming here for any amount of time, be it one day, one week or one month, 

"Is for the first 14 days of your trip, you are meant to self-restrict your movements.

"So if you are only coming here for five days then you should go to wherever you are planning on being for those five days and that's it. 

"Then go back to the airport or the port."

Mr Donnelly's instructions follow reports on social media that tourists are not adhering to the advice after filling in locator forms.

A green list of countries safe to travel to from Ireland is due to be published later this month.

The total number of people infected since the outbreak broke out here is 25,628 and the death toll has reached 1,746.


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