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ASTI requests Minister to seek review of medical advice for reopening of schools

The ASTI has written to the Minister for Education, Norma Foley TD, to request that she seek a general review by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre of the interim recommendations issued in June, prior to schools reopening in late August. In particular, we have requested a review regarding the matter of mask or visor wearing within schools.

At the time the interim advice was issued, it was envisaged that a move to phase 4 of the reopening of the country would take place on 20th July. It remains unclear whether phase 4 will have commenced prior to the reopening of schools. In that context, such a review would appear necessary.

In addition, significant changes in public policy have been introduced regarding the wearing of masks on public transport and in other enclosed spaces since the interim recommendations for the reopening of schools and educational facilities were provided to the Department in Education.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre is the body placed to provide guidance on this matter.

The ASTI continues to emphasise the need to ensure the reopening of schools is implemented in a sustainable manner. Reducing the risk of transmission within schools must be prioritised.