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Government asks people who have booked holidays to "bear with us" during uncertainty

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Thirty one cases of Covid-19 in Ireland were associated with travel last month, the deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn warned (Niall Carson/PA).

Thirty one cases of Covid-19 in Ireland were associated with travel last month, the deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn warned (Niall Carson/PA).

Thirty one cases of Covid-19 in Ireland were associated with travel last month, the deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn warned (Niall Carson/PA).

People who have booked holidays amid massive uncertainty over Covid-19 travel restrictions have been asked to "bear with us" by a senior government official.

Liz Canavan made the remarks as she also warned that non-essential international travel should still be avoided and that people should "go with your gut" and leave venues in Ireland where they feel unsafe or that are too crowded.

She said that there have been six cases of Covid-19 reported this week alone that were associated with foreign travel.

The World Health Organisation has warned that the spread of the virus is accelerating around the globe with more than 1.1m cases reported in a week.

In recent days Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan has advised that people who have booked holidays should cancel them.

Ms Canavan, the assistant secretary general of the Department of the Taoiseach, today said: "Government advice is still to avoid non-essential travel."

She added: "The risk now is a new imported case cases spreading in the community before we can identify and break chain of transmission...

"It is of course hugely important that we reopen society, the economy, and travel, but all the time balancing the risk of another wave of infection around the country."

She said: "We understand that the issue of foreign travel is causing great uncertainty and worry.

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"Some people have holidays booked and are wondering what to do.

"We are acutely aware of this, and we would ask you to bear with us."

She said: "The situation is undoubtedly volatile from a disease point of view internationally.

"The government have committed to preparing a roadmap for safe overseas travel and will finalise its considerations on this very shortly."

A 'green list' of countries where non-essential travel would be allowed is to be drawn up by July 9.

Separately, pubs that sell food, restaurants, and hairdressers have all been allowed reopen this week.

Ms Canavan said there have been reports of venues not adhering to the guidance by being too crowded or permitting people to stay for too long.

She said the Health and Safety Authority and other agencies are monitoring compliance with more than 500 inspectors involved in this work and it is even more important that businesses take a responsible approach now.

She said individual responsibility is also important for the continued suppression of the virus.

"If you feel a business is too crowded or is not applying the guidelines properly, you should leave.

"If you feel unsafe... go with your gut. Trust your instincts. Don't go in or leave."

Ms Canavan warned that the virus remains a risk and "we need to be more careful than ever".

She said: "I know you want to meet your friends, for the first time in a long time.

"But we must also try to keep our contacts to a minimum, we must maintain all good hygiene behaviours, and we must try to continue to keep our distance.

"We have come a very long way. And we want to be able to continue on that journey. We do not want to have to go back."


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