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No need for new restrictions this week as path cleared for re-opening of schools

However, Dr Holohan said the Government need to be ready to respond to any significant changes to the transmission of virus.
Education Minister Norma Foley

Education Minister Norma Foley

Philip Ryan

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan has told the Taoiseach he does not believe more Covid-19 restrictions will be necessary this week.

However, Dr Holohan said the Government need to be ready to respond to any significant changes to the transmission of virus.

It comes as public health officials have cleared the the way for schools to reopen as planned this week.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin and the CMO spoke today ahead of a meeting of the three Government leaders.

Mr Martin told the meeting Dr Holohan did not envision the need for more restrictions this week.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan. Photo: Gareth Chaney

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan. Photo: Gareth Chaney

The Taoiseach, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan agreed at their meeting that they did not want to introduce more restrictions this week.

However, the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) will meet formally on Thursday to review the latest data on the virus.

It is unclear if new restrictions will be recommend after this meeting or if the Government will impose them this week if they are advised.

Nphet will also consider a request from the Government leader to review isolation rules for close contacts and those who have been diagnosed with Covid.

The Government is eager to follow the lead of the US where isolation periods have been abolished for close contacts who have no symptoms and are fully vaccinated, including a booster shot.

Meanwhile, public health experts have cleared the way for schools to reopen on Thursday as planned.

Education Minister Norma Foley is currently briefing unions and school boards of management representatives on plans to allow students return to classes on Thursday.

The minister will relay advice she received from HSE public health officials saying there is no reason schools cannot return this week.

It was also decided at the meeting between the three party leaders that primary and secondary schools should return on Thursday.

There has been concern among teachers unions over returning to classrooms while Covid-19 cases numbers remain high.


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