Ireland's president isolating with Covid: office

By: AFP
Published: 07:41 PM, 4 Mar, 2022
Ireland's president isolating with Covid: office
Caption: Ireland's President Michael D. Higgins
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Ireland's President Michael D. Higgins has tested positive for coronavirus and is displaying mild symptoms of Covid-19, a spokesman for his office said on Friday.

Higgins, 80, and his wife, Sabina, tested positive ahead of a visit to a school in a north Dublin suburb, the spokesman added.  

"President and Sabina Higgins, having displayed mild Covid-19 symptoms this morning and having taken antigen tests that have tested positive, will be isolating for the next seven days," the his office said. 

"The president while isolating is continuing to work from home."

It was believed this is the first time the Irish president has tested positive for Covid.

As president in Ireland, Higgins' constitutional role is a chiefly ceremonial one and he is generally required to remain above party politics.

An academic and former government minister, elected twice to the role in 2011 and 2018, Higgins is seen as a unifying figure.

A man of short stature, he has become recognisable on the international stage for his use of poetry and fondness for his pet Bernese Mountain Dogs, which have stolen the limelight at addresses and functions.

At the height of the pandemic Ireland endured some of Europe's longest and strictest coronavirus restrictions, but most  have been lifted.

On Monday, the mandatory requirement to wear masks in shops and schools was removed. However, rules to isolate after a positive test remain in place.

AFP

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.