Reopening of schools expected to go ahead, says CMO 3 weeks ago

Reopening of schools expected to go ahead, says CMO

The public have also been urged to avoid New Year's Eve parties.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan has said the reopening of schools next week will remain under review, but at the moment the plan is for them to return as planned.

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Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland on Friday, Dr Holohan said that case numbers for school age groups had been falling in December and that he wasn't aware of any other country which had moved to close schools.

Speaking on Newstalk on Friday, Dr Holohan also said that people should cut down their "discretionary social contacts" to the "absolute minimum".

"There are things that involve us having to have social contact such as the delivery of essential public services, health services and so on," he said.

"But unfortunately for things like New Years Eve parties, this isn't a safe time for people to be gathering, particularly indoors".

Writing on Twitter on Thursday evening, Dr Holohan said: "The most effective way to minimise the risk of any of us transmitting this virus to others is to avoid mixing indoors with people from other households.

"I know this is not the advice any one of us wants to hear, particularly in advance of New Year celebrations.

"However, given the current profile of the disease, it is essential that all of us continue to keep our social contacts as low as possible in the days ahead."

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Official government advice remains that visits to private homes should be kept to a maximum of three other households.