All going well children could visit grandparents over summer, says Taoiseach

Children will be able to visit their grandparents "over the course of the summer" if all goes well, according to the Taoiseach.
All going well children could visit grandparents over summer, says Taoiseach

Children will be able to visit their grandparents "over the course of the summer" if all goes well, according to the Taoiseach.

The announcement comes after the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) said that

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The latest research and evidence appears to show that transmission is lower in those under 14.

"It is encouraging that there is growing evidence that those who are at least risk from the virus are children, and they don't appear to be super spreaders, and I think that is very significant," Mr Varadkar said when asked if children would be able to visit elderly family members soon.

"It will form part of the discussion, but it won't be among the measures that we hope to put into effect on Monday.

"Of course everybody wants grandchildren to be able to see their grandparents, and I know some grandparents who have yet to see and meet and hold their newborn grandchild and you can imagine how they must feel.

"I think those things, assuming everything else goes in the right direction, will be possible over the course of the summer, but won't be among the actions that we'll be announcing on Monday."

The second phase of loosening Ireland's lockdown measures are due to go ahead on Monday, but are dependent on virus reproduction and numbers of patients in intensive care as well as other factors.

"I think it's fair to say that everything is going in the right direction, but the decision has yet to be made, and that decision will be made by cabinet on Friday on advice from NPHET, as to whether we can go ahead on Monday with the easing of restrictions," he said.

The Taoiseach appeared to hint that the new research would inform decisions on when childcare facilities and schools would reopen.

"We are learning more about the virus all the time, but if you take for example, what HIQA said today, and what Mike Ryan of the World Health Organization said, that they're very much of the view and the emerging evidence is, that among the safest things that we can do over the next couple of months, is to reopen our schools, to reopen our childcare facilities to allow children to return to education and return to normal life," Mr Varadkar said.

"I am conscious of the fact that some countries in Europe never fully closed their schools childcare facilities, and I think it wouldn't be a good reflection on us, as society, if we're the last people who are able to reopen our schools and childcare facilities, but we need to make sure we do it safely and work with the education sector and the childcare sector to make sure that it's possible."

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