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Covid-19 Ireland: NPHET to consider an end to mask wearing in schools

NPHET bosses are set to discuss ditching face masks in school tomorrow.

The high profile decision would be seen as one of the last moves in a return to normal life after the latest Covid wave.

It would be discussed as part of the broader debate on whether masks would still be needed in other locations, like on public transport or in shops.

The Taoiseach said on Monday that he is looking for the Government to move to a “guidance” role on Covid, rather than telling people what they can and can’t do.

Secondary school students have been wearing masks in schools since September 2020 and primary school children aged nine or over have been mandated to mask-up since December.

The official review date for any more restrictions to be eased or scrapped is February 28th, but the Government is free to act in advance of this if it likes.

However, there are still many cases of Covid being recorded in schools every day, among both teachers and pupils, and former school principal and current Labour TD, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, said on Tuesday afternoon that he still has “concerns.”

But despite that, a Government source told the Irish Mirror that if NPHET gives the go ahead, they are ready to lift restrictions relatively quickly, before February 28th.

He said: “we will follow NPHET advice, as we always do, but of course the feeling is here in Government that it would be great if further restrictions could be lifted, but we’ll have to wait and see.”

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