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02 Jul 2022

Nine year olds now temporarily required to wear face masks in public settings - NPHET

Nine year olds now temporarily required to wear face masks in public settings - NPHET

Nine year olds now temporarily required to wear face masks in public settings - NPHET

Nine year olds will now temporarily be required to wear face masks in public settings, according to the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET). 

The news was confirmed yesterday evening by Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Tony Holohan, who stated he was hopeful that following new measures "for at least the next two weeks" can make a real difference to incidence of disease. 

He stated, "NPHET has recommended, on a temporary basis, the wearing of face masks for children aged 9 years and over on public transport, in retail and other indoor public settings as currently required for those aged 13 and over, with exemptions as appropriate, and in third class and above in primary school. This measure will be subject to review by NPHET in mid-February 2022." 

According to the CMO, a "significant and rapid deterioration in the epidemiological situation" in as-yet-unvaccinated 5-11 year olds has taken place in a very short period of time. 

"This has resulted in a sharp increase in incidence in this age group," he said. 

The avoidance of indoor birthday parties, sleepovers and indoor community events such as communions and confirmations is being recommended, and parents are reminded to reduce their own social contacts and avoid social gatherings. 

Dr Holohan said, "These measures are not what any of us want to hear, particularly at this time of year. We know that it adds an additional burden at what has been a very difficult time for all of us, particularly those with young families."  

He is advising people with symptoms to isolate and get a PCR test, and not to rely on the results of an antigen test. 

He said, "If any stage your child develops symptoms of #COVID19 or an antigen test is ‘positive’ they should be isolated at home and parents should arrange a PCR test for them." 

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