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24 Jan 2022

"Avoid crowded places including retail environments," urges Chief Medical Officer as country sees surge in Covid cases

Dr Tony Holohan coronavirus covid-19

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health

Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan is urging people to reduce their contacts and avoid crowded places as we get set to see the opening of post-Christmas sales.

The Chief Medical Officer said: "It is important that all of us continue to reduce our contacts and avoid crowded places, to the greatest extent possible, as we see the Omicron variant become the dominant variant of COVID-19 in Ireland.

"We know that this variant is more transmissible than even the highly transmissible Delta variant. As such, please do not socialise or meet indoors with people from other households. 

"Avoid crowded places including retail environments. Choose to shop online where possible, queue outside and leave any retail environment that does not feel safe and that is not adhering to the public health guidance – implementing social distancing measures and queuing system, limiting numbers instore and staff wearing masks correctly (covering nose, mouth and chin).

"If you are yet to receive a booster dose of Covid-19 vaccine, then you should take every measure you can to protect yourself until you are eligible to receive it. This includes avoiding risky environments and keeping your contacts as low as possible. All of the available evidence indicates that a booster vaccine will offer good protection against infection with the Omicron variant." 

If you have travelled to Ireland from overseas it is important that you take an antigen test every day for five days. 

If anyone experiences any symptoms of Covid-19, however mild, then it is important to self-isolate and arrange a PCR test. Test centres are very busy at the moment due to the high incidence of Covid-19 across the country; however, it is important that you continue to self-isolate until you receive the result of your PCR test and further information from the HSE. 

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