New measures advising kids to wear masks coming into effect tomorrow
New measures are coming in.
New measures will come into effect tomorrow asking children of a certain age to wear face masks in school and in public until February.
Children from the age of 9 upwards will be asked to wear masks on public transport, in shops and in all other settings that already require adults to wear masks.
Primary school students from third class up will also be asked to wear face coverings in school.
The Department of Education is issuing guidelines to schools this evening, which will include what exemptions will apply.
The new rule was recommended by Nphet last week, and is set to come into effect immediately and will later be reviewed in February.
Face masks and coverings are already compulsory for children in post-primary education, with exceptions for certain students in medically certified circumstances.
The exemptions that will apply to primary students in the same situations include a person with a breathing difficulty, a person who is unable to remove a covering without assistance, anyone who has special needs and may be upset or uncomfortable while wearing a covering.
When it comes to mixed year classes in schools, it will only be children from third class that will be required to wear the coverings.
While there is some objection from parents, it is expected that principals will be given time to implement the new rules.
This comes as the Government is bringing in new measures to prevent a further rise in cases, as the incidence rate of Covid in 5-12 year olds is the highest in the community.
An antigen testing system was introduced to primary schools yesterday with more than 7,000 requests to the HSE for test kits.