Parents to be asked to reduce children’s activities to curb Covid-19 spread

Ministers expected to sign off recommendation children over nine wear masks in schools

Parents will be asked to reduce their children’s playdates and other activities under proposals aimed at slowing the spread of Covid-19 to be considered by Cabinet on Tuesday.

It is understood that there won’t be a blanket ban on playdates or attending pantomimes.

However, one source suggested that the advice to parents could be that if they are considering doing both activities for their children in the same week they should only do one.

Hospital Report

In general, the advice for children will be the same as adults to reduce socialisation.


Ministers are also expected to sign off on a recommendation that children over 9-years old wear face masks in primary schools when they meet tomorrow.

It comes after the three Coalition leaders Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Green Party leader Minister Eamon Ryan met with chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan along with Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly this evening.

The deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn was also in attendance as was professor Philip Nolan and Dr Cillian De Gascun of the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet).

They provided a general update on the Covid-19 situation.

It was noted that there has been a stabilisation of Covid infection figures in recent days but here is still ongoing concern over infection rates and need to reduce socialisation.

The Government leaders were given a presentation on the Omicron variant that was identified in South Africa in recent days.

There is understood to have been general agreement that it would take another fortnight to have a clearer understanding of the risk involved with the new variant.

The Nphet representatives also offered the Government its rationale for the advice on socialisation of children, arguing that the infection rates for both the unvaccinated 5- to 11-year-old age group and their parents is high.

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn is a Political Correspondent at The Irish Times