Children with additional needs to be exempt from face mask requirement

Face masks for over nines expected to be on Cabinet agenda for discussion on Tuesday

Minister of State for Special Education Josepha Madigan said it was ‘important to recognise that not all young people are able to wear masks in school and the guidance should reflect this’.

Minister of State for Special Education Josepha Madigan said it was ‘important to recognise that not all young people are able to wear masks in school and the guidance should reflect this’.

 

Children with additional needs will be exempt from any requirement to wear a mask in the classroom if, as expected, the Government implements a recommendation that children over nine use face coverings at school.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) made the recommendation that children aged nine and over should wear masks in school and other indoor settings last week.

It is part of a range of measures aimed at slowing the spread of Covid-19 in the unvaccinated 5 to 11 year-old age group.

Face masks for the over nines is expected to be on the Cabinet agenda for discussion and sign off on Tuesday.

However, Minister of State for Special Education Josepha Madigan has confirmed that primary school children with additional needs will not have to wear masks if it makes them uncomfortable.

Parents will be able to request an exemption from schools.

Ms Madigan said: “It is important to recognise that not all young people are able to wear masks in school and the guidance should reflect this.

“I welcome confirmation that pupils with additional needs in primary school will not be required to wear masks if it makes them feel upset or uncomfortable.

“Inclusion and equality for these young people must rightly be protected,” she added.