The Chief Medical Officer of the President of the United States, Dr Anthony Fauci, has said “it is safe” for the Irish to travel to America.
culminating in RTÉ’s This Week program, Dr Fauci said that despite high levels of Covid-19 in the United States, Irish tourists can feel safe going there when the travel ban is lifted in early November.
“I think the combination of the fact that it will be in November and there will be a requirement for vaccination and testing, that it will be safe for the Irish to travel to the United States.
“I think our Irish friends and colleagues who come from Ireland to the United States with vaccines and tests can have a safe visit,” he said.
Dr Fauci, who is also director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said children are recommended to wear masks in crowded environments.
He said people will have to decide how much risk they are willing to accept when traveling.
“Everything has to be placed in the context of your ability to take a finite risk… There will be masking on the plane. Taking into account hepa filtering, planes are generally considered to be reasonably safe.
“We always recommend, and we do this ourselves, that even if you are vaccinated and you are in gathering places indoors, [to] still wear a mask.
Yesterday, 51,575 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in the United States, while the 7-day moving average of infections is above 120,000.
Dr Fauci said that despite the availability of vaccines in the country, some 70 million Americans eligible for vaccines have not taken them.
He said the spread of misinformation and misinformation on social media is a major public health problem in the United States.
He said it was “up to us” to get people vaccinated and added that a serious effort is being made through vaccination warrants and information campaigns.
“We need to move forward and get people vaccinated. We have the tools to prevent these numbers from increasing dramatically, ”he added.
Meanwhile, Dr Fauci said it was “very likely” that booster vaccines could be given to large segments of the population outside of the older and vulnerable groups.
Meanwhile, regarding the efforts of frontline healthcare workers throughout the global emergency, Dr Fauci said they are all ‘heroes’ who should be rewarded in the way that individual states deem appropriate.
“I firmly believe that the health care workers, the front line workers out there are truly the heroes and heroines of this epidemic. In Ireland, the United States and the world. Whatever a country could do to recognize this heroism would be most appropriate. “
It comes as yesterday the Irish government ended the mandatory hotel quarantine system here.
The Department of Health confirmed that the decision was made following a recommendation from Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan.
He said the system has been gradually scaled back over the past few months in line with the government’s revised approach to international travel, the successful rollout of the vaccine in Ireland and the evolving pandemic internationally. .
The department said travelers should always adhere to relevant travel regulations set out in “Interstate Travel Regulations,” including the requirement to undergo a PCR test prior to travel, unless there is evidence of proof of travel. vaccination or recovery; and home quarantine requirements.
Travelers are also required to complete a passenger tracking form prior to arriving in Ireland.
Mandatory hotel quarantine was introduced in Ireland in March this year to help stop the spread of Covid-19.
Since then, 10,294 people have remained in the system, 593 residents have tested positive for Covid-19, and eight hotels have been used during its peak.
The latest overhaul of the quarantine system was completed in August with the withdrawal by the Minister of Russia, South Africa, India, Bangladesh, Botswana, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eswatini, Fiji, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Pakistan. , Paraguay, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, Uruguay and Zimbabwe from the list.