Children will only have to restrict movements if they have symptoms or a close contact at home
From Monday, contact tracing of close contacts in schools for under 12s will no longer be necessary.
Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Tony Holohan has said that children will only have to restrict their movements if they have symptoms of Covid-19 or a close contact in their home.
Dr Holohan said on Sunday that contact tracing of close contacts in schools and childcare settings will no longer be necessary from Monday.
Children aged 12 years or under who are identified as close contacts in non-household settings and who are asymptomatic will also no longer be required to restrict their movements.
"The role education plays in our society is immense, and, throughout this pandemic, the necessary public health measures have been designed to protect this vital sector and the wider school community from the worst impacts of Covid-19," Dr Holohan said in a statement.
"The resumption of in-person education was associated with a significant increase in the numbers of children referred for testing in recent weeks. This was entirely to be expected.
"We know that parents and teachers are doing an excellent job being mindful of symptoms and arranging tests as per the current public health advice."
He added that in spite of increased testing, there has only been a "relatively modest increase" in the detection of cases in the age group.
"We have also seen the associated positivity rate recently decrease from 16% to 5% which is very reassuring," he added.
“Given the substantially higher risk of transmission in households as compared to any other setting, children aged 12 years or under, who are identified as household close contacts, will still be required to restrict movements and be tested, regardless of whether or not they have symptoms."
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