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25 Jan 2022

EXPLAINER: What are the new Covid-19 public health measures advised for children

EXPALINER: What are the new Covid-19 public measures for children

EXPALINER: What are the new Covid-19 public measures for children

The Government has issued new advice and measures for children that they hope will help stop the spread of Covid-19 in Ireland. 

The new measures are as follows.

Parents should aim to reduce socialisation indoors in respect of children aged 12 and younger.

Parents are being asked to prioritise their children’s activities by:

* minimising indoor community gatherings and indoor mixed household gatherings
* reducing the risk of exposure to the virus by opting for outdoor activities instead of indoor
* reducing the number of children involved in any particular activity

On a temporary basis, subject to review in mid-February 2022, the wearing of face masks/coverings is recommended 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
* in third class and above in primary school (guidance will issue to schools from the Department of Education)

Additionally, the following measures remain in place in Ireland

* an EU Digital COVID Certificate (COVID-19 pass) (vaccine or recovery certificate) is required for indoor hospitality and events

* face masks must be worn in certain settings. (They can be removed for consumption of food or drinks as appropriate)
collection of contact tracing data in certain settings

* COVID-19 passes and fixed capacity limits do not apply for outdoor events. However, sectors should ensure appropriate protective measures are in place

* organisers of indoor and outdoor group activities should ensure that appropriate protective measures are in place, and where indoor groups have a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated people indoors, pods of 6 should apply. For children under 18, the “pod of 6” system can be adjusted to allow for indoor games and competition activities only, with all other protective measures remaining in place. The “pod of 6” system should be retained for all other settings such as training activities and games as part of training. Fixed capacity limits will not apply to these indoor and outdoor group activities

* religious services and weddings can proceed without capacity limits but with all other protective measures remaining in place

* everyone should work from home unless it is necessary to attend the workplace in person. This means a return to the situation on working from home as it applied before 20 September 2021

* COVID-19 passes (based on vaccination or recovery) are required for cinemas and theatres

* midnight closing time for all on-licensed premises, including hotel bars and hotel residents’ bars, with all customers vacated from the premises by that time, regardless of the event taking place (for example: weddings, dinner dances and other similar style functions all finish at midnight)

*household close contacts who are fully vaccinated and showing no symptoms should restrict their movements until they have 3 negative antigen test results taken within a 5-day period.

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