Taoiseach Micheál Martin has stated that people can exercise their own judgement in regards to bringing children to indoor dining settings.
This comes as Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan advised that it’s safer to not bring children to indoor dining settings as the Delta variant continues to spread.
Martin stated that the government made a decision on “balance” that individuals under the age of 18 can dine indoors once accompanied by a fully vaccinated individual.
Martin stated, “One has to have a balance here in terms of how people operate and how people live their lives. The chief medical officer will advise and Government will make decisions in terms of broader issues that Government has to consider,”.
While stating that the exception for children was understandable, Martin said, “In many instances, there won’t be any difficulty in terms of children, in my view, accompanying parents in controlled environments,”.
He also stated that we need to trust people and that it’s a “collective effort” as a society to try and deal with a global pandemic with many “twists and turns.”
Martin added that people still need to be vigilant and take Holohan’s advice seriously.
In regards to the Delta variant, Martin stated that the government are concerned as this strain is more transmissible and leading to an increase in case numbers and hospitalisations.
The Taoiseach stated, “I have concerns obviously with the Delta variant. There are risks but Delta is now rising even prior to the reopening of indoor hospitality but it is a substantially different situation to the Christmas period in that the majority of those eligible for vaccination are fully vaccinated.”
The advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) was that vaccinated individuals need to have access to activities.
The Taoiseach defended the government’s approach to how it managed the pandemic and the economy while adding that the nature to the government’s response to the pandemic will “evolve and change.”