NPHET backs further easing of restrictions on Monday

The National Public Health Emergency Team has agreed to recommend that the Government proceeds with its plan for a further lifting of restrictions from next Monday, given the latest data on Covid-19.

The requirement for children who are deemed to be close contacts of a confirmed Covid-19 case to be tested and to restrict their movements may also cease at the end of this month.

NPHET agreed today that this change could be implemented if no significant in-school transmission is seen in the meantime.

It also agreed that masks should not be required for children under 13 years of age, following advice from the Health Information & Quality Authority (HIQA).

The meeting also discussed a review of the evidence on antigen testing, conducted by HIQA.

The HIQA review sets out the circumstances where antigen testing may be useful.

It will now be up to various sectors, such as education, higher education and workplaces, to consider if they will add antigen testing to their Covid-19 mitigation measures.

The NPHET position remains that antigen testing is not of benefit generally for screening people with no symptoms and that the health service has sufficient capacity for PCR testing.

From next Monday, there can be a return to the workplace for specific business requirements, on a phased and staggered basis.

Restrictions will be removed for outdoor group activities and organised indoor activities will have greater capacity.

Ireland is tracking well ahead of the most optimistic NPHET projections for Covid-19, including a model that predicted 3,000 cases a day, which has not yet materialised.

Hospital admissions, admissions to ICU and deaths are below what was projected for the July to September period.

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