Only 0.1 Per Cent of Irish Coronavirus Cases from Outdoor Exposure: Report

People queue outside shops wearing protective face masks as a precaution against the transmission of the novel coronavirus in Dublin on October 21, 2020 as Ireland prepares to enter a second national lockdown to stem the spread of the virus that causes Covid-19. - Millions of people in Ireland were …
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Figures from Ireland’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) have revealed that just 0.1 per cent of the country’s total Wuhan coronavirus cases were linked to outdoor transmission.

The data claims that of the total 232,164 cases of the Wuhan coronavirus recorded in the Republic of Ireland by March 24th, just 262 were linked to transmission of the virus in an outdoor setting, or just 0.1 per cent of the total number of infections. In all, one-in-a-thousand cases of Coronavirus can be attributed to transmission out of doors.

According to a report from The Irish Times, which acquired the data after a formal request, there were 42 outbreaks linked to outdoor gatherings, with one outbreak resulting in seven cases. Construction site activity was linked to 21 outbreaks with 124 cases, and outdoor sports and fitness was linked to 20 outbreaks where there were 131 cases.

Prof Mike Weed of Canterbury Christ Church University in Kent, England, released a study on the outdoor transmission of coronavirus in September of last year, referenced by the Irish newspaper, which found “the outdoor environment presents a low risk of transmission of COVID-19 due to the natural social distancing that happens through the normal conventions of personal space in everyday life”.

“Our conclusion is that in many sectors, and for many sizes and formats, it should be possible to put appropriate evidence-based mitigations in place to deliver outdoor events and activities in a way that does not escalate the risk from sporadic transmission to cluster outbreak,” Professor Weed stated, according to The Irish Times.

The figures come after Dr Matteo Bassetti, a top epidemiologist in Italy, criticised his government’s move to require the wearing of masks in outdoor environments.

He said in October 2020: “The epidemiological trend offers no scientific basis for these measures.”

Adding: “In my opinion, prohibitions don’t do much; we need to focus on the involvement of the people, on correct information.”

Italy is not the only country to require the wearing of masks outdoors. Before the Easter holidays, the government of Vienna announced that high-traffic areas in the centre of the Austrian capital, such as the Stephanplatz square, would require the wearing of masks.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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