Mick McCarthy urges public to follow HSE advice as he self-isolates after neighbours contact covid-19

Mon, Mar 23 2020

McCarthy is self-isolating with his wife in Bromley after two neighbours contracted covid-19 Credit: Michael P Ryan (ETPhotos)

Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has confirmed he is self-isolating at his home in Bromley after two of his neighbours were diagnosed with covid-19.

McCarthy had planned to be in Bratislava this week for the scheduled Euro 2020 play-off against Slovakia on Thursday night.

However the sweep of the novel coronavirus across Europe has seen football suspended throughout the continent for the foreseeable future.

That means even the provisionally rescheduled play-off date in June is clouded in doubt, while the finals themselves have been postponed for a year until June 2020.

“I should have been on the training ground at Abbotstown with the players today, getting ready for Slovakia and working on shapes and game plans,” McCarthy told the FAI.

“Instead, I am back home in Bromley and isolating as two of our near neighbours have been diagnosed with coronavirus and it is now very real and very frightening for us.

“Like so many others, we are trying so hard to play by the rules here and stay at home. My wife Fiona and I are not seeing our children or our grandchildren and it’s tough.”

United Kingdom prime minister Boris Johnson on Monday evening ordered all subjects to stay indoors as he announced sweeping new lockdown measures in the country.

Similar measures are likely to follow in Ireland in the coming days, and McCarthy urged all supporters to heed the warnings and follow HSE guidelines to maintain social distance.

“We are doing what the authorities are telling us and that is the message I want to send to everyone in Ireland today.

“Let’s do as we are told – let’s ensure we listen to the guidelines so that we don’t end up like Italy.

“Please do as the HSE, the Government and the Gardai are telling you. Do it for yourself and for others.

“We all need to be vigilant now, for our own health and for everyone else. We cannot take a chance with this.

“When the government say don’t congregate in numbers, then please listen to them. When they tell you that it is better to stay at home, listen.

“Keep your distance. No matter how young or old you are, do as they ask - for all our sakes.

“Football will come back when the time is right and we have resolved all these issues. For now, we have to take notice of what’s happening in Ireland, in Britain and across Europe and the world.

“We have to take heed and learn the lessons. When you see the sacrifices our doctors, nurses, medical teams and frontline services are making, when you see the work they are doing, we have to say thank you and we have to play our part. Let’s do this together. Let’s stay safe.”