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Coronavirus: Republic's Health Minister tests negative for Covid

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aoiseach Micheal Martin speaking in Dublin at the unveiling of the Irish Government's blueprint for living with Covid-19.

aoiseach Micheal Martin speaking in Dublin at the unveiling of the Irish Government's blueprint for living with Covid-19.

PA

aoiseach Micheal Martin speaking in Dublin at the unveiling of the Irish Government's blueprint for living with Covid-19.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has tested negative for COVID-19

It's after cabinet ministers were told to restrict their movements in the coming days.

The Dail has also been recalled having earlier been dramatically suspended for the week by Ceann Comhairle Sean O Fearghail who said the entire Cabinet had to self-isolate.

Cabinet ministers were advised to work from home, while restricting their movements, but are not required to self-isolate.

A Government source said the move was taken out of an "abundance of caution".

It was announced that the acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, was also restricting his movements.

Mr Donnelly felt unwell earlier following this morning's Cabinet meet in Dublin Castle and sought a test for the virus following discussions with acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn.

A Government spokesperson said: "The Minister contacted his GP and he has been referred for a Covid-19 test. He has gone home and will restrict his movements."

“The communication has gone to all ministers to restrict their movements pending the outcome of that test,” Taoiseach Micheal Martin said on the Six-One News.

The CMO had used the phrase “an abundance of caution,” while giving his advice he said. The Chief Whip had then informed the Ceann Comhairle and he had suspended the Dail, he said.

But the Dail was returning because “we believe Ministers of State can take certain issues and represent the Government.”

The Cabinet was being cautious because there were a number of meetings Stephen Donnelly attended yesterday, including when he briefed the whole Cabinet on today’s plan.

Earlier, Mr Martin stressed that he would continue to work, via Zoom and on the phone. “I will be at my desk.”

Cabinet Ministers were taken by surprise by the announcement on Tuesday afternoon. Earlier it emerged that Green Party leader Eamon Ryan was restricting his movements as one of his family was being tested for the virus, while junior minister Thomas Byrne was also self-isolating.

A spokesperson for Mr Donnelly said: "The Minister for Health began to feel unwell this afternoon. He contacted his GP and has been referred for a Covid-19 test. As per public health guidance, he is now self-isolating."

Independent.ie