Ireland expected to relax restrictions for COVID-19 close contacts

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FILE PHOTO: Queue for a booster dose outside COVID-19 walk-in vaccination centre in Dublin
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  • Stephen Donnelly
    Irish Fianna Fáil politician

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland is expected to lift restrictions on the movement of people who have been in close contact with someone suffering from COVID-19 if they are fully vaccinated with a booster and have no symptoms.

In a radio interview with Newstalk, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said he had received updated advice on coronavirus restrictions that would be considered by his cabinet colleagues on Wednesday.

"The main change and recommendation is as follows: if you have boosted immunity currently you are asked to restrict your movements for five days. That requirement would go completely. So no restricted movement if you have boosted immunity," he said.

Boosted immunity includes means people who have had two doses of a vaccine and a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 in the last three months, Donnelly said.

Ireland's health department reported 19,290 new cases on Tuesday, with the fast-spreading Omicron variant accounting for 92% of all infections in the country.

Donnelly said he would also propose that certain age groups with a positive rapid antigen test no longer need a PCR test to confirm the result.

The isolation period for those who test positive is set to be standardised at seven days, regardless of whether they have received a booster vaccination.

(Reporting by Graham Fahy; Editing by David Clarke)

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