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Warning to Irish tourists heading to Spain, Portugal and more after worrying data emerges

“The number of travel-related cases has increased very sharply recently, with over 800 such cases reported in the last fortnight alone”

Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn has this evening issued a warning around the increase in travel-related infections here.

In a post on social media, he urged anyone arriving home from holiday hotspots to get a test immediately if they symptoms of the virus.

Dr Glynn wrote; “If you have recently returned to Ireland and have any symptoms of Covid-19 including fever, cough headache, sore throat or a blocked or runny nose then please self-isolate and get tested without delay.”

His warning comes after it was confirmed that there has been a vast increase in the number of cases associated with travel, as more and more people head abroad for a break after more than 18 months in and out of lockdown.

“Although the vast majority of the cases we are reporting have acquired Covid-19 in Ireland, the number of travel-related cases has increased very sharply recently, with over 800 such cases reported in the last fortnight alone.”

The stats published this evening show that 75% of these cases are aged under 35.

An accompanying infographic shows hotspots for returning Covid cases which include, Malta, Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands.

“In Ireland, we have recorded hundreds of cases in people recently returned from these regions”, Dr Glynn said.

“From the 5th-18th July, we recorded 676 cases in people who had returned from Spain, Great Britain, and Portugal in the previous fortnight.”

The major increase comes in line with the recent easing of restrictions on international travel with the implementation of the Digital Covid Cert.

For most countries, all other forms of cert – including recovery and negative tests – are accepted for entry of Irish tourists; however, this evening officials confirmed a change in rules for Irish arriving into Malta.

From today, only those who hold proof of full vaccination from the HSE will be allowed entry. Should you be heading off with proof of only a negative test, or even recovery, you will be subject to a 14 day quarantine period.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs; “Anyone aged 12 and over can travel to Malta as long as they hold a certificate of full vaccination for an EMA-approved COVID 19 Vaccine, including EU Digital COVID Certificates, Maltese and NHS (UK) certificates.

“Handwritten vaccination certificates or vaccination cards will not be accepted by Malta.

“Full vaccination means a certificate issued 14 days after the second dose or 14 days after the single dose in the case of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.”

Arrivals who are not vaccinated are subject to Mandatory Hotel Quarantine for 14 days at their own expense (€100 per night per room).

BySophie Collins
17:40, 22 JUL 2021