The master and crew of a Belgian-registered trawler are self-isolating on board their vessel in Cobh harbour pending the outcome of Covid-19 testing.

The crew of the 'Vaya Con Diaz' were advised by the Marine Survey Office (MSO) that they could not unload their catch and to stay on board after the trawler arrived into port earlier today.

The MSO had been alerted by the Irish Naval Service after one of its vessels had encountered the trawler during routine fishery protection duties yesterday.

When the Navy announced their intention to board the vessel to carry out a routine inspection of the catch, and asked about the wellbeing of the crew, the master told them that there was a person on board with a cough and chest pains.

The Navy then deemed that the risk was too high to conduct a routine inspection.

In line with Marine Notice 06/2020, which deals with Covid-19 health guidelines for vessels coming into Irish ports, they contacted the Marine Survey Office, appraising the MSO of the vessel's intention to land at Cobh.

When the 36-metre trawler arrived in Cobh, the MSO attended the trawler and advised the master of the vessel that a declaration of health needed to be filled out and submitted no more than 24 hours before a vessel arrives in port.

The MSO confirmed in a statement this evening that the HSE was informed of the situation on board and that any quarantine issues is a matter for them.

The trawler remains tied up in Cobh this evening.

This evening, in a brief statement the Department of Public Health, HSE, said it would not comment on the location of any individual cases or outbreaks in order to protect people’s privacy.

But, in general terms, it said that "if there is a confirmed workplace outbreak, a public health risk assessment is undertaken".

"An outbreak control team is convened where necessary and advice is provided on the management of the outbreak. This includes clear advice to both management and staff to support them in responding appropriately," the statement added.