IRELAND'S Health Service Executive is advising anyone who travelled from the UK after December 11 to eat their Christmas dinner by themselves in their bedroom.
Public health advice notes that anyone arriving from Britain should self-isolate for 14-days, which means they shouldn't be sharing a room with any members of their family - unless it's absolutely necessary - until their isolation period ends.
Speaking on told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Chief Clinical Officer of the HSE Dr Colm Henry described the advice as "painful but necessary".
"Self-isolation means staying in your room in so far as possible, except for essential purposes," he said.
Asked if that meant eating Christmas dinner in your room, Dr Henry said: "yes, sadly it did mean that.
"It is difficult, it is painful, we have learned to our cost that delay in taking action to prevent spread, the transmission of the virus, we will pay for it if we do so," he added.
"We appreciate how inconvenient this is, how painful this must be for people who have waited so long to come home, but we know this is a highly transmissible form of the virus.
"Perhaps it is inevitable that it is here, we must act as if it’s here."
Dr Henry added that there will be "enhanced checks" on the 30,000 or so passengers that have arrived in Ireland from the UK since in the last couple of weeks.
The new strain of Covid-19, which has effectively locked down London and the south-east of England, has become a real concern for the rest of Europe, with countries all over the continent temporarily suspending flights and ferries from the UK.