For Written Answer on : 24/03/2022
Question Number(s): 393 Question Reference(s): 15656/22
Asked by: Brendan Smith T.D.
To ask the Minister for Health if a renewed emphasis will be placed through messaging and advertising on the need to implement adequate sanitation measures in all public premises and the need to follow public health guidelines in view of the increase in Covid-19 numbers; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The current rise in cases of COVID-19 reinforces the need for all of us to continue to adhere to the public health advice. Following the last meeting of the NPHET, and on the basis of the advice I received from the CMO, the Government removed the mandatory element of mask wearing in areas where it was regulated.
The NPHET advice, that was accepted by Government, clearly stated that while the mandatory element of mask wearing had been removed, there was no change to the public health advice in relation to the continued wearing of masks, practicing of physical distancing and avoidance of crowded environments based on individual risk assessment and with a continuing focus on protecting others, and adherence to basic hand and respiratory hygiene.
The wearing of masks is also advised on public transport. This is a setting where physical distancing can be difficult and where those who are more vulnerable to the severe impacts of COVID-19 do not always have a discretion to avoid. For these reasons, the NPHET recommended that the wearing of masks on public transport should continue to be advised. The continuation of mask wearing in healthcare settings is also advised.
These messages, along with the important message to stay home if you have symptoms, are being carried on my Department and HSE social media channels, so as to remind people of the current public health advice.