Following a decision by the HSE yesterday to upgrade restrictions requirements for those entering Ireland from Britain, anyone who arrived here since 8 December is advised to self-isolate for 14 days.

It means those who arrived from 11 December onwards are being asked to eat Christmas dinner alone in their room.

The advice has been described by the HSE's Chief Clinical Officer, Dr Colm Henry, as painful but necessary.

Rich Cahill is among those currently self-isolating after returning home from London to see his family in west Cork last week.

Speaking to RTÉ News, Mr Cahill said he restricted his movements for two weeks as a precautionary measure before getting on the plane.

He said has taken three Covid-19 tests since last Wednesday, two PCR tests and one rapid LAMP test, and all have come back negative.

Despite feeling some frustration at the introduction of the new rules, Mr Cahill says he will abide by them and will self-isolate in his room over Christmas.

"The priority for me is I don't want to pass this [virus] on to my folks or my sister or being the start of spreading it across other communities in Ireland," he said.

"So I'm keeping myself to myself and laying low this Christmas, even though I'm three negative tests down.

"I don't know what else I can do?

"I'm super frustrated obviously, but I don't want to be a part of making stuff worse."

As for what he expects to happen on Christmas Day, Mr Cahill said: "I'll be waving at my sister, my parents and my dogs through the bedroom window."

Mr Cahill said the messaging around why the previous criteria were insufficient is confusing.

"The Government is clearly worried about this new variant [of Covid-19] spreading across Ireland," he said. "I empathise with that too.

"What's confusing is that previously you isolated for five days, take a test and get a negative, and now it's that you isolate for 14 days, regardless of getting a negative test at any point along that journey.

"So what's changed? Is it that the test doesn't pick up the new variant? To be honest, it feels a little bit thrown together."

Around 30,000 people have traveled to Ireland from Britain since 8 December. The ban on travel from Britain to Ireland will be reassessed on 31 December.