Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly tests negative for Covid-19

Stephen Donnelly does not have coronavirus, according to the results of a test for Covid-19 the Minister for Health took on Tuesday.

His Cabinet colleagues are no longer required to restrict their movements, a Government spokeswoman confirmed on Tuesday night.

It emerged earlier that all members of the Cabinet were restricting their movements after Mr Donnelly said he felt unwell in the afternoon.

A spokeswoman said the Minister had contacted his GP and was referred for a Covid-19 test. The result was made public after 9pm.

Minister of State for Health Frank Feighan confirmed in the Dáil that “Minister Donnelly doesn’t have Covid-19 and I wish him well”.

It had also been confirmed by the Department of Health that Dr Ronan Glynn, the acting chief medical officer, was restricting his movements because he met Ministers on Monday for a briefing on the latest coronavirus developments.

Mr Donnelly had attended the full meeting of the Cabinet on Tuesday morning and had also appeared at and addressed the press conference at which the Government outlined its new Covid-19 plan.

All other members of the Cabinet, including Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, had been told to restrict their movements as a result and as a precautionary measure.

However, the move was news to at least some Cabinet members. The Minister for Justice Helen McEntee was told while being interviewed on RTÉ radio, while another Cabinet Minister said that the development was “news to me”.

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan was already self-isolating at home after a member of his household began to feel unwell.

Minister of State for European Affairs Thomas Byrne has also been self-isolating since Monday, as he awaits the result of a Covid-19 test after he woke up with a “very mild cough”, he said.

After 5pm, the Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl told the Dáil he had received some “very serious information”.

Mr Ó Fearghaíl said: “I’ve been told that arising out of events today the Cabinet must self-isolate.

“Therefore the possibility of proceeding with business does not arise and the House stands adjourned, I suspect until Tuesday next or until I’m directed by the Taoiseach to reconvene the House.”