The National Public Health Emergency Team is to be scaled back from October 22nd as the country begins to move into a new phase of the pandemic response.
According to one source, NPHET along with its associated subgroups will be moving from an emergency group to a mainstream surveillance function in the Department of Health.
As well as the ‘significant’ scaling back of NPHET, the Covid Cabinet subcommittee and the existing senior official’s group that meet on a weekly basis will be stood down.
The vaccination taskforce will have its functions carried out by the HSE national immunisation office.
A decision is expected to be signed off today along with other elements of the reopening plan.
In regards to the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath stated that the government is looking to shift away from a system that’s based on rules and restrictions, to a system that’s based on personal responsibility and living cautiously alongside the virus.
As schools return this week, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan urged parents to be cautious about their children participating in after-school activities.
While saying that the school environment was not a major source of disease transmission, Holohan stated, “As many children return to classrooms across the country today, it is important to highlight to both children and their parents that considerable preparations have been made across the country to reopen schools safely.”