Irish Cabinet to self-isolate over Covid-19

The Dáil has been suspended as a precaution. Credit: PA

The entire Irish Cabinet is having to self-isolate after Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly reported feeling unwell and was advised to seek a test for Covid-19, resulting in the Dáil being adjourned.

Mr Donnelly had attended a full meeting of Cabinet on Monday morning and a press conference to outline the Irish Government’s plans for the future regarding coronavirus.

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl confirmed the development in the house.

“I have very serious information. I’m told that arising out of events today, the cabinet must now self-isolate,” he said.

“Therefore, the possibility of proceeding with business does not arise and the house stands adjourned, I suspect, until Tuesday next.

“Or until I’m directed by the Taoiseach to reconvene the house. So Dáil adjourned until further notice.”

The adjournment of the Dáil is a precautionary measure that is indefinite at this stage, but it could resume in a week’s time.

Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly is understood to have been advised to seek medical advice and a Covid-19 test. Credit: PA

Ireland’s medium-term six-month plan for living with coronavirus is structured around five different levels of restrictions, numbered from one to five.

Every county has been given a status two risk level, but several additional restrictions are being applied to Dublin – which stop short of level three status.

The capital has seen a marked increase in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks.

The added restrictions in the city and wider Dublin county will see pubs that do not serve food having to remain closed when those in the rest of the country open next week.

Unveiling the plan, Taoiseach Micheal Martin said: “We must continue to live with the reality that Covid-19 is potentially deadly, causes long-term illness, and we must limit the spread.

“When the vaccine is available, we will move quickly to implement a widespread vaccination programme - however, I want people to understand that, even before then, we can go much further in opening up economic, social and cultural life in our country.

“We can do this if we work together in implementing the comprehensive plan, which we’re launching today.”