Fears are growing about a delta wave engulfing Ireland as the country opens its borders to overseas travel today.
more than 3,700 cases have been reported here in the past three days, and it has been warned that travel, particularly from the UK, could see a further increase in cases.
As of today, non-essential travel is tcleared in Ireland, while England opens for its so-called ‘Freedom Day’.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision will see the mandatory wearing of the abandoned mask, nightclubs reopen and the limits on the number of people a person can meet inside will end.
The UK recorded more than 48,000 cases of Covid-19 yesterday.
“If travel increases from the UK to Ireland, it is very likely that we will get an increase in cases from this,” UCD virologist Dr Gerald Barry said. Independent Irish.
âPeople will bring the virus with them, maybe without knowing it, but it will add fuel to the fire. And we already have a pretty good fire burning here with case numbers. “
About 10% of new Covid-19 cases are linked to travel since the end of June, as people have started returning to EU vacation spots such as Spain and Portugal.
Niamh O’Beirne, National HSE Manager for Testing and Tracing, said: âWe are seeing an increase in the number of people with a travel history over the past 14 days, especially from some vacation spots in Europe.
âWe also have about 10% of cases now that have a travel history,â she told Newstalk. On the file.
More than 150,000 people are expected to pass through Dublin airport alone this week as restrictions ease, including more than 22,500 today.
Despite the growing number of cases in the UK, vaccinated passengers can travel to Ireland from today without having to go into quarantine.
Dr Barry said: ‘If people can come to Ireland without quarantine, isolation or testing, it will encourage travel and that is a concern.
âThe reality is that the situation in the UK is incredible, to say the least in terms of the number of cases.
âThis variant is incredibly contagious, more than anything that has been seen so far.
âWe even know that people who have been vaccinated can carry the virus, pass it on to others and that British teenagers are not vaccinated.
âWe know that adolescents transmit the virus just as much as adults. It may not be as dramatic as winter but it is not good to have a huge number of cases, allowing the virus to circulate and evolve in the face of a continuously bombarded vaccine.
“It almost encourages a way to evolve the virus to beat the vaccine,” added Dr Barry.
Meanwhile, the government still appears poised to eliminate indoor dining and drinking despite growing concerns over a new wave of cases in the past five days.
High-level political sources acknowledged that the government was increasingly concerned about the sustained increase in cases – but noted that the increase in hospitalizations was small and that the number of intensive care remained stable.
This and the advice of the government advisory group, Nphet, continues to suggest the rethe opening, which should start next week, will not be disrupted.
“In all the meetings that have taken place, there has been no mention of anyone considering the emergency break – at least so far,” a well-placed source said last night.
The source added that the rethe opening being limited to fully vaccinated persons, further increased the likelihood of its continuation.
Addressing the issue in Cork on Saturday evening, Taoiseach MicheÃ¡l Martin said the government would not approve resuming indoor dining until Wednesday after carefully considering all advice.
Visit our Covid-19 vaccine dashboard for updates on the vaccination program rollout and the Ireland coronavirus case rate