Parents asked to reduce opportunities for children to socialize indoors

Parents have been advised to reduce indoor socializing opportunities for their children over the next two weeks due to the impact of the current Delta wave of Covid-19.

In a statement released following a Cabinet meeting today, the coalition said children aged 12 and under should reduce socializing indoors, in line with public health advice.

“Parents know their children best and know the activities/experiences that matter most to them. Therefore, parents are advised to prioritize their children’s activities – minimizing indoor communal gatherings and mixed-gender gatherings within households” in an effort to reduce the possibility of virus transmission.

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Parents are encouraged to move activities outdoors and reduce the number of children involved in a particular activity. Meanwhile, children from the third grade will now be required to wear face masks at school and on school transport, while public health advice will be for children aged nine and over to wear face coverings on public transport and in indoor public places.

The government has also agreed to restore the legal structure allowing for the mandatory hotel quarantine system, although a decision to relaunch the scheme has not yet been taken. The aim is to pass the legislation this week, coalition sources said.

Covid-19 testing of people arriving in the country is expected to tighten, with mandatory PCR or professionally administered antigen tests required for everyone entering the country except those coming from North Ireland. PCR tests can be done up to 72 hours before the flight, while antigen tests can only be done 48 hours before the flight. The rules will come into effect on Friday.