Gardaí had to be called to Wexford General Hospital on two occasions recently, after patients suspected of being Covid-positive refused to remain isolated.
Some went for walks and outside to smoke.
Dr Mick Molloy, a consultant in emergency medicine at the facility, says isolating suspected cases is done to protect both patients and staff.
However, he says some insisted on moving around, against instructions from medics.
Dr Molloy said: “If people are not compliant with the measures there is nothing we can do. If someone comes in and says, ‘I have Covid and I’m refusing to wear a mask’, I’m sorry, but we can’t help you in that scenario unless you help us.”
In Irish hospitals patients who are suspected of having Covid are required to self-isolate until a negative result is received.