Updated Covid-19 Guidance to Schools following the mid-term break 2022
I hope you and your family enjoyed the midterm break.
As you may be aware, the Government have reviewed some of the measures put in place in schools in response to Covid. While some measures are now optional, it is important to note for cases of Covid it is still required that your child remains at home if they display any symptoms or have a positive Antigen.
If members of staff or students wish to continue wearing face masks or coverings, they may do so.
Below is the updated guidance provided by the Department of Education.
Continued use of good infection prevention and control measures such as hand washing, respiratory hygiene, and ventilation is advised.
Critical components of the collective response in relation to COVID-19 continue to apply including self-isolation if symptomatic (even if fully vaccinated/boosted) or if having a positive COVID-19 test.
Staying at home if you have symptoms
The requirement to stay at home if you have symptoms remains – for students and staff alike. One of the key messages to manage the risks of COVID-19 is to do everything practical to avoid the introduction of COVID-19 into the school. If infection is not introduced it cannot be spread.
Schools should continue to promote good hygiene. Hand hygiene can be achieved by hand washing or use of a hand sanitiser (when hands look clean). Funding will continue to issue to schools for the purchase of PPE, including hand sanitiser.
Face coverings/mask wearing
It is no longer a requirement for staff or pupils/students to wear a face covering/mask in school. Staff and student/pupils can continue to wear a face covering/mask if they wish to do so on a personal basis and the school will continue to make masks available on request as they are currently doing.
School transport and Face coverings/mask wearing
With effect from Monday 28 February the wearing of face coverings/masks on school transport will no longer be mandatory but will continue to be advised. All other measures relating to hygiene (including the provision of hand sanitiser and additional cleaning of services) and pre-assigned seating will remain in place subject to further review.
Antigen testing arrangements for children in primary schools and special classes.
As part of the transition arrangements the HSE will continue with the current processes to support the provision of antigen tests to primary schools, special schools and childcare settings.
The Antigen Free phone number is: 1800 110055 or parents may order antigen tests online via www.hse.ie/schooltest.
The call centre opening hours will be altered slightly and from next week onwards will be 8:45am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays). The online portal will remain operational 24/7 and will shortly be available through Irish as well as English.
Participation in antigen testing a voluntary, therefore it is not necessary for parents to share information with the school about whether they have requested antigen tests and nor to confirm negative antigen tests
Children who are well should continue to come to school whether they participate in antigen testing or not.
Further information regarding changes will be provided in the next week. Thank you most sincerely for your support and cooperation with the measures that have been in place up to now. Your understanding and engagement made a significant difference to our Staff, Pupils and myself in minimising risk and allowing us to continue to support and work with your children to the best of our ability.
Wishing you and your child an enjoyable, healthy and successful second half of term.