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Ireland to require COVID-19 tests for all arrivals, source says

Ireland to require COVID-19 tests for all arrivals, source says

Samples of COVID-19 rapid antigen tests are pictured at Irish Air Line Pilots Association (IALPA) headquarters, in Dublin, Ireland, Jun 16, 2021. (File photo: Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne)

DUBLIN: Ireland will require all arrivals to have proof of a negative COVID-19 test - regardless of their vaccination status - to slow the potential spread of the new Omicron coronavirus variant, a government source said on Tuesday (Nov 30).

Ireland is studying 11 suspected Omicron cases after initial tests showed they had a trait distinct from the dominant Delta variant. Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said it is likely the new variant is present in the country.

Fully vaccinated passengers will be required to have taken a lab-conducted antigen test no more than 48 hours before travelling or a PCR test within 72 hours of arrival, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity, after ministers agreed the measures.

The antigen option will not be available to unvaccinated arrivals or those who have been previously infected.

The new rules will apply to arrivals from Britain but not across the open border with Northern Ireland. Ireland and Britain share a common travel area and similar rules introduced by London last week do not apply to passengers from Ireland.

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Source: Reuters/ng

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