Micheál Martin says children can eat indoors with parents after Dr Tony Holohan advised it's safer not to
“The government made a decision, people can bring their children [indoors] - we need to trust people as well."
Micheál Martin has said that parents can eat indoors with their children after Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Tony Holohan advised that it would be safer to continue to dine outdoors for now.
Speaking to reporters in Offaly on Thursday, the Taoiseach said that there is a need to "trust people" after legislation to allow people who have been fully vaccinated, accompanying under 18s, and those who have recently recovered from Covid-19 to dine indoors was passed in the Dáil on Wednesday.
“We need to trust people too, this is a collective effort as a society to try to deal with an unprecedented global pandemic, we are worried about the Delta variant," he said.
“People need to take the advice of the CMO in respect of this seriously, but at the same time, in terms of government, the government has created a good balance here."
He added that there is a need to work in "controlled environments" and adhere to public health guidelines.
“What will not change is the need for basic common sense in terms of how we behave and how we adhere to the guidance and regulations around public health and avoid getting Covid-19," he said.
The Taoiseach also responded to Holohan’s comments on Wednesday advising parents that it was safer not to dine indoors with young children and to continue to dine outdoors for now.
During a Department of Health briefing, Holohan said: "In terms of children, I still think that even though certain things are possible, children won't be vaccinated. There's no plan at this point in time to vaccinate children.
"For now, to parents of young children, it's safer not to bring your children into indoor dining and other facilities - even though these kinds of things might be possible. That would be the responsible public health advice."
Martin said in response: “The government made a decision, people can bring their children [indoors].
“The CMO will advise, the government has to make decisions, but I think the key point really is there is a need for personal responsibility, we need to trust people as well.
“I think people have learned through the journey of this pandemic how it can impact and how deadly it can be. People [should] exercise their own judgement.
“In many instances there won't be any difficulties in terms of children accompanying parents in a controlled environment, there are significant controls in a restaurant, for example.”