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17th Nov 2021

Norma Foley asks parents to reconsider playdates and birthday parties

Kat O'Connor

Foley said it is time for the public to “hunker down”

Minister for Education Norma Foley has warned parents about socialising as Covid cases continue to rise.

The Minister said now is the time to scale back on social events like children’s birthday parties and outings.

She also said parents should reconsider playdates.

Speaking to RTÉ’s Claire Byrne, Minister Foley said it is time for the public to “hunker down”.

She said parents should be cautious about their children’s social activity.

Being vigilant and restricting social engagements is essential if we want to avoid a Christmas lockdown.

She urged parents to be cautious and to restrict their children’s social engagements.

“There is a window of opportunity to reassert ourselves and do the right thing,” she said.

“We have worked very well in ensuring our schools can operate … and we have been told clearly that the issue remains more so in wider society,” she explained.

“Therefore, the ask is on wider society to shoulder the responsibility.”

Foley’s comments come after it was confirmed schools will be given free antigen tests.

Antigen testing in schools is set to be finalised by the end of the week.

Foley believes this will help reduce the rising case numbers in children of school age.

The tests will be free for close contacts and schools, but the wider public will have to pay for them.

The cost of antigen tests is set to be reduced before the end of next week, Stephen Donnelly confirmed.

The Health Minister stressed. “They have them free in the UK and the government came under huge criticism from parliament for that because essentially there were no controls on how they were being used at all.”