Irish ambassador to France: Covid-19 Q&A

The Irish Ambassador to France, Patricia O’Brien

The Irish Ambassador to France, Patricia O’Brien has answered questions from readers about Covid-19 and Irish citizens and France. She tells Connexion that she hopes “we will pull through this difficult time together and that the summer, real and metaphorical, is within reach.” The questions cover travel and healthcare.

Message from the Ambassador:

It feels like a long time has passed since we were looking forward to celebrating St. Patrick's day here in France and around the world. March 17 came and went while we were all preoccupied with the Covid-19 crisis, but this is just one example in a long list of cancelled plans. It seems that life beyond the essential has been on pause. The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar took the early and decisive measures to close crèches, schools and universities on March 12 on the same day that France announced similar measures.

In Ireland, further restrictions were introduced to close bars, restaurants and all non-essential shops and services. Those aged over 70 have been asked to “cocoon” which is a nice way of inviting the elderly to stay at home and to stay safe by limiting non-essential interaction with others. These protective measures will remain in force in Ireland until May 5. These sacrifices by Irish people are making a difference: our health service has not been overwhelmed and lives have been saved.

A challenge of such magnitude reminds us that we are nothing without each other. No single person, organisation or government can defeat this virus alone, but with a spirit and mindset of cooperation, collaboration ...

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