Parents should not bring their children into indoor dining when new rules come into force allowing them to do, the country’s chief medical officer has advised.
Dr Tony Holohan said the “responsible” public health advice was that it was safer for unvaccinated children to avoid indoor activities such as dining.
Later this month, under 18s will be permitted to dine indoors at a café, pub or restaurant, provided they are accompanied by a fully vaccinated adult or one who has recovered from Covid-19.
Dr Holohan told a public health briefing on Wednesday: “Even though certain things are possible, children won’t be vaccinated, there is no plan at this point in time to vaccinate children.
“For now, to parents of young children – it’s safer not to bring your children into indoor dining and other facilities, even though these kinds of things might be possible. I mean, that would be the responsible public health advice.
“If you do need to go out or wish to go out with your children, dining outdoors is still possible.”
He added: “You don’t have to go indoors. We know that Delta transmission among children can happen.”
Path to infection
The chief medical officer issued a warning on Wednesday to all those waiting for Covid-19 vaccination in Ireland, urging them to remain vigilant after the highest number of daily new cases since February was reported.
“For people who are not vaccinated, we can see a significant change in the path to infection, and we’ve been saying for some time that this infection represents a risk to them,” Dr Holohan said.
“You must be very cautious and at the very minimum try to differentiate for yourself between those activities that we would regard as high risk activities.
“Things that are indoor, where there’s poor ventilation, where there’s crowding and things like that, to recognise those features.
Your vaccine is not far away
“If you’re not vaccinated you need to stay away from those.”
He said people who are still waiting for their vaccines “need to stay away from those kinds of environments” and confine their activities to the outdoors, continue using masks and maintain social distancing.
However, he added that such measures could be dropped in the autumn.
“Your vaccine is not far away. We think we need to keep this up for another period of time that will take us into probably September, when we get to levels of vaccination that will allow us to look again at the need for these kinds of arrangements to be maintained.”
—Additional reporting by Press Association.