Two Bord Bia workers in China have returned to Ireland to escape the coronavirus outbreak, the Irish Independent has learned.
Other State agencies have banned such travel and are requiring staff to work from their Chinese residences.
Both employees returned to work in the food promotion agency's Dublin office on Monday after spending two weeks working from home. They were screened and cleared of any coronavirus risk by HSE staff, the agency has confirmed.
The coronavirus outbreak in China is causing global economic disruption, including to Irish agencies and firms.
Isme, the umbrella for small and medium-sized enterprises, is advising members to prepare for the first cases here - and be ready to roll out remote working plans.
Tests have been carried out on 65 patients in Ireland suspected of having the coronavirus so far and all have proved negative.
Bord Bia's office in Shanghai - 840km east of the Wuhan epicentre of the outbreak - reopened this week with three Irish and three Chinese staff returning to work.
"As all staff continue to carry out their roles, there is no need for additional staff in Shanghai," a spokesperson said.
Enterprise Ireland said it has 13 employees based in China who are all working remotely.
It is understood that none of its Irish staff are currently in China.
Its offices in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai will all remain closed until February 17 at least.
"Staff safety is our top priority. We are continuing to closely monitor the situation and there will be no staff travel to and from China until further notice," Enterprise Ireland said.
The IDA, which has offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, said like Enterprise Ireland its offices remain closed and its staff are working from home. None of its staff has travelled to Ireland since the outbreak, it confirmed.
Its seven Irish executives in China have been told "not to undertake any travel to any region in China" and to follow local authorities' instructions "to keep them and their families safe".
The IDA added that it was advising staff to avoid "all non-essential travel" to any Asia-Pacific country.
Meanwhile, more than 1,000 staff at Indeed's Irish operations have been given the green light to return to their Dublin offices today after tests in Singapore found that family members of an Indeed staff member there do not have the virus.
On Monday, the company had shut its offices in Dublin - as well as in Singapore and Sydney - and asked staff to work from home while the Singapore case was investigated.
"We anticipate all employees who have been working from home will return to their offices [Wednesday].
"We would like to thank them for their co-operation, patience and understanding as this situation evolved," Indeed said.
Irish multinationals with operations in China have faced significant disruption to their operations.
It is understood companies with manufacturing and distribution centres in China were instructed by Chinese authorities to suspend operations last month, and they will require official certifications to reopen, starting this week.
Kerry Group, which has five manufacturing plants in China, said its "priority is the health and safety of our employees".
A source at one Irish company with significant Chinese operations said the company policy was to keep its staff in China.
"We haven't taken people out of China at all. We are a multinational company and cannot be seen to be favouring particular nationalities and flying only certain nationalities out of the country," the person said.
In a note to investors, Davy Research said the potential economic effect of a protracted coronavirus crisis has been "under-appreciated by the market".
It identified Kerry as the Irish company with the strongest sales presence in China.
"Severely restricted transport routes, employee lockdown and outright site closures are likely to create major supply chain disruptions for players manufacturing in the region," Davy said.
Since its emergence in Wuhan more than a month ago, the coronavirus has killed more than 1,000 people in China and isolated cases have been detected in dozens of other countries, including the UK.
Meanwhile, the businessman linked to several cases of coronavirus in the UK has been named as Steve Walsh.
The 53-year-old said in a statement: "I would like to thank the NHS for their help and care.
"Whilst I have fully recovered, my thoughts are with others who have contracted coronavirus.
"When the diagnosis was confirmed I was sent to an isolation unit in hospital, where I remain and, as a precaution, my family was also asked to isolate themselves."