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Thursday, December 9, 2021

Primary pupils will not be required to use antigen tests before attending school

The antigen testing programme for primary school pupils will not require widespread testing for pupils before attending school as what takes place in other jurisdictions.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan ruled out a programme that would see students testing themselves regularly before attending school.

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Holohan said that further details will be available in the coming days and that the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) is not contemplating a system of antigen testing across schools.

Holohan stated, “We have been looking in recent days at the most recent European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) guidance and advice, and we’re now just looking to try and see what’s the most effective means of operationalising a very specific set of guidances that might apply to those who might be regarded as close contacts in a school environment.” 

The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) welcomed antigen testing being used in specific circumstances but warned that “time is of the essence”.

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While saying that they cannot afford additional delays, INTO general-secretary John Boyle stated, “Political leadership is essential to ensure swift action on this front.”

IMAGE – PA Images

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