Leo Varadkar proposes changes to self-isolation rules for boosted asymptomatic close contacts
Cabinet is set to meet this week.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said that close contacts who have received a booster vaccination dose and who aren't displaying symptoms of Covid-19 should be exempt from self-isolation.
Varadkar made the assertion when speaking to Virgin Media News on Tuesday afternoon (4 January).
The Tánaiste noted the distinction between those who have been boosted and those who have not, though underlined that Government will continue to follow the latest public health advice.
However, it is understood that Government will ask Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan to consider easing the rules around the restriction of movement for fully vaccinated close contacts.
Cabinet is set to meet on Wednesday, with the ongoing Covid situation a top priority in the face of escalating confirmed case numbers, a notable strain on the testing system, public service staff absences and the overall issue of schools.
The Association of Secondary Teachers, Ireland (ASTI) has described the Government's plans to reopen schools without further safety measures as "an unacceptable risk".
The trade union made the comments on Monday night, noting its 'deep concern' in light of the Omicron wave.
"There is uncertainty regarding the impact in schools of this significantly more transmissible variant," said an ASTI spokesperson.
In somewhat related news, Tánaiste Varadkar took the number one spot on a notable international list this week, with the New York Times labelling a prediction he made as the single worst one of 2021.
The feature shares a quote from an interview conducted with Varadkar in December of 2020, predicting that the Covid pandemic would be concluded by 2021.
“With the vaccine, with mass testing and with the knowledge of how to prevent and treat this virus, I think the pandemic will end in 2021,” Varadkar said.
The Tánaiste made the comments following Margaret Keenan receiving the first Covid vaccine outside of clinical trials in December of 2020.
NYT writer Peter Coy described Varadkar as "daring to predict the course of a pandemic that has flummoxed the experts repeatedly".
"To his credit, he did qualify his prediction with 'I think.'," Coy added.
Featured Image of Leo Varadkar via Julien Behal / RollingNews.ie