Travelling across the border to Northern Ireland will be included in the easing of restrictions and the resumption of inter-county travel from May 10.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan confirmed today that Nphet is “not advising people not to” travel into Northern Ireland.
“We have given broad advice, people understand the spirit of the advice we have given and be able to translate that into their individual behaviours,” he told Independent.ie.
“Northern Ireland’s in a better situation epidemiologically than we are, they are moving on at a slightly different rate. And those kinds of incentives potentially arise,” he said.
He expressed serious concern over the high rate of infection in Donegal and said that his counterpart in Northern Ireland, Dr Michael McBride, is worried that people from the North may travel into Donegal for holidays and that the high incidence will spread.
There also concerns over high incidences in Derry.
“Those are rational, reasonable concerns for our colleagues in Northern Ireland to have. We share those concerns with each other,” he added.
He said that if the situation with the virus in Donegal was as high in other parts of the country, Nphet would have not made the recommendations to ease measures like it did earlier this week.
“The rates of infection in that part of the country are very, very high,” he said.
Dr Holohan asked anybody who may have influence in Donegal to urge the public to keep with public health advice.
He urged anybody “with any influence in that part of the country to mobilise and to come together”.
“We are genuinely concerned,” Dr Holohan added.