18 May 2022

EXPLAINER: When and where masks will be optional from next week?

EXPLAINER: When and where masks will be optional from next week?

Face masks

The Cabinet has officially signed off on recommendations to end the mandated wearing of masks in certain sectors from next week.

Last week, NPHET recommended that masks become optional in settings like schools, public transport and retail outlets from the end of February. The Taoiseach said on Friday that the government would be accepting that advice and today they have officially signed off on the lifting of measures.

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From next Monday, February 28, masks will only be mandatory in healthcare settings.

They will be optional on public transport, in shops and in schools. 

The Cabinet has further agreed to lift many of the remaining measures in schools. From next Monday, classroom pods will be scrapped along with staggered breaks, masks and physical distancing in schools.

Also from Monday, February 28, close contacts of confirmed cases of Covid-19 will no longer be required to restrict their movements or isolate, unless they are symptomatic. 

It has also been confirmed that those aged under 55s will not be offered PCR tests and instead will take antigen tests. Some exceptions will be made on this age restrictions for those with compromised immune systems or pregnant women. 

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