Deputy CMO says people can trick or treat safely this Halloween if they take "basic precautions"
The advice comes amid an increase in Covid-19 cases and hospital figures.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Ronan Glynn has said people can trick or treat safely this Halloween if they take "basic precautions".
The Deputy CMO was speaking during a Department of Health briefing on Wednesday where 1,631 more cases of Covid-19 were confirmed.
As of 8am on Wednesday, 503 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 101 are in ICU.
It was also announced there has been a total of 5,436 deaths related to Covid-19 notified in Ireland, including 67 deaths newly notified in the past week since last Wednesday.
"Unfortunately our cases, our incidence and the numbers in hospital and ICU are all continuing to increase," Glynn said.
"We are seeing significant pressure on our hospital system as a result of the profile of disease at present. We're seeing cancellation of elective activity. We're seeing significant staff absences."
Glynn added that while Ireland's future trajectory with the virus is "very uncertain", the positive is that "nothing is set in stone".
"We're calling for strength and communication, guidance and compliance across all sectors in relation to the basic protective measures that we've been promoting through the pandemic."
Later during the briefing, NPHET was asked if it had any specific concerns or advice about the Halloween weekend.
In response, Glynn emphasised the importance of following the "basic measures".
"So, people can trick or treat, people can do the things they normally do at Halloween but maybe don't do it every day over the weekend," he explained.
"Maybe don't meet up with multiple different groups of children over the weekend.
"And the core message and the key message is that - and it will mean that some children are very disappointed this weekend - if you have a sick child then please isolate them and don't let them mix with other children.
"Because RSV is circulating, because Covid is circulating and flu will be circulating in due course.
"It's not a message that any of us wants to be giving and it's not a message I'm sure that parents want to hear but we do need to take the basic precautions.
"On the other hand, if we do take the basic precautions, there's no reason why people can't do the things that we normally do at Halloween very safely."
Main image via Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie