CONFIRMED: Face masks recommended for children as new rules for arrivals to Ireland announced 8 months ago

CONFIRMED: Face masks recommended for children as new rules for arrivals to Ireland announced

Parents are urged to prioritise their children’s activities and to minimise indoor gatherings.

The Government has approved a number of new measures centring around travel and children to help to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

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It comes amid concerns regarding the Omicron variant which was first detected in South Africa last week.

In terms of travel, from 00.01am on Friday, 3 December, people arriving in Ireland from overseas who have been vaccinated or recovered from the virus will also be required to have a professional, certified “negative/not detected” test result.

This can be from a non-self-administered antigen test taken no more than 48 hours before arrival or a PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival.

In a statement, the Government said it expected that current exemptions from testing will continue to apply in line with existing regulations.

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It also stated this measure will apply for a minimum period of two weeks and will be kept under review with a view to remove it as soon as possible after that period depending on the overall epidemiological situation.

Anyone who does not have a Digital Covid Certificate based on vaccination or recovery will continue to be required to take a pre-departure PCR test.

The Government has also stated that legislation allowing for the reintroduction of Mandatory Hotel Quarantine will be passed this week to apply to arrivals that do not meet the requirements for entry.

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In regards to children, the wearing of face masks will be recommended for kids aged nine and over on public transport, in retail and in other indoor public settings, as well as for kids in third class and above in primary school.

This will be on a temporary basis, subject to review in mid-February, with exemptions as appropriate.

Meanwhile, parents should also aim to reduce socialisation indoors for children aged 12 and younger over the next two weeks.

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"Parents know their children best and know the activities/experiences that matter most to them," a Government statement reads.

"Therefore, parents are being asked to prioritise their children’s activities - minimising indoor community gatherings and indoor mixed household gatherings; reducing the risk of exposure to the virus by opting for outdoor activities instead of indoor, and reducing the number of children involved in any particular activity."

The Government has described Ireland's Covid-19 situation as "uncertain", amid high incidence of the virus and with the potential impact of the Omicron variant.

"Incidence of the virus is relatively stable but remains at high levels across all age groups and is continuing to have a significant and sustained impact across all aspects of the health service," it said.

"While there is some evidence of a move in the right direction in terms of people reducing their close contacts and cancelling future plans for social interaction, it is not yet at the level required in order to result in a significant reduction in the rate of transmission of Covid-19."

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The Government called on the public to "remain vigilant" and do all it can to reduce transmission of the virus.

Main image via Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie