Creches could prevent children from returning for two weeks if they travel abroad 2 months ago

Creches could prevent children from returning for two weeks if they travel abroad

"To open our doors and allow everyone to just walk in after being away on holidays - at this time, I just don't think it's right."

Creches could prevent children from returning to child care for two weeks if they travel abroad, the Chairperson of the Federation of Early Childhood Providers has said.

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Elaine Dunne, Owner of Treehouse Childcare, said that there is currently "huge concerns" over the Delta Covid-19 variant for many creche owners.

She told The Pat Kenny Show on Wednesday that "a good number of services" had already been forced to close due to outbreaks of the virus.

"The concerns are, we already know that there are a good number of services closed with the Delta variant in them," she said.

"In particular, we know of two services in the country that look after children under the age of two and these services are closed and there are a number of children in these services with the variant.

"One child, that is six-months-old, the owner's child, then passed the Covid on to the parents, so up until yesterday they were still getting Covid confirmed cases in these two services."

Dunne added that a wait period of 14 days for families who are returning from travelling internationally could be beneficial.

Dunne said that while each service has their own policies and procedures, she believes allowing children who have been abroad to return to creche right away is not "right".

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"To open our doors and allow everyone to just walk in after being away on foreign holidays - at this time, I just don't think it's right," she added.

The creche owner said that there are fears over the increase in cases of the virus among children, with one child in Dublin reportedly being hospitalised with the Delta variant.

She suggested that antigen testing for staff on a daily basis would also be helpful as her creche already "uses them regularly" to help prevent outbreaks.

International travel reopened for those who have been vaccinated, recently recovered from Covid-19, or who have been able to provide recent negative PCR tests, using the EU Digital Certificate as of 19 July.

It comes as the Health Service Executive (HSE) has confirmed that almost a third of new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland over the last two weeks were children.

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The National Lead for test and trace, Niamh O'Beirne, told Virgin Media News that 32% of cases reported over the last 14 days had been in people under age 18.