Dublin Airport update as contact tracing plane passengers no longer required under new HSE advice

0 coronavirus thu feb 4 2021.jpg
0 coronavirus thu feb 4 2021.jpg

Routine contact tracing of air passengers who test positive for Covid-19 has ended, under new HSE advice.

Flight contact tracing will only be carried out when public health officials sees that it is necessary according to new advice.

Contact tracing people who flew into Ireland stopped last week with no announcement.

But routine tracing may also be carried out if there is a public health concern, such as the exposure of vulnerable groups, or a high amount of symptoms among cases, according to the Irish Times.

Other factors that could lead to contact tracing include:

  • More than 10 unrelated cases of Covid on a flight
  • Among people not travelling as a family or group
  • Confirmation of a “non-prevalent” variant of concern

Contact tracing was recommended for confirmed cases who were on a flight while infectious. This involved tracing contacts who were seated within two seats or rows of the case.

If three or more cases were identified on a flight, officials would carry out a risk assessment, which could result in everyone on the flight being contact traced.

International travel played a central role in Covid cases spreading in Ireland in summer 2020, according to studies. Last year, a seven-hour flight to Dublin led to 59 cases in Ireland.

Travel-related cases also contributed to the surge in cases of the new alpha variant before Christmas 2020.

But as more people became vaccinated, the recommendation against non-essential international travel was dropped in July.

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