Thursday, 24 September 2020

Questions (138)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Question:

138. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Education if a child, who has a letter from a doctor confirming they are unable to wear a mask on medical grounds, can be exempt from wearing a mask whilst at school. [26059/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

My Department received advice from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) on the use of face coverings in educational settings on the 6th August 2020. This advice is available at here

It is a requirement for face coverings to be worn by teachers, staff in schools and students attending post primary school.

However Public health advice also provides that cloth face coverings should not be worn by any of the following groups:

- any person with difficulty breathing

- any person who is unable to remove the face-covering without assistance

- any person who has special needs and who may feel upset or very uncomfortable wearing the face covering, for example persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities, mental health conditions, sensory concerns or tactile sensitivity.

A medical certificate must be provided to the school where an exemptions is sought on the above grounds. There is no capacity for schools to deviate from either the requirement to wear face coverings or from the limited exemptions that apply.

Advice for schools on the use of face coverings is available in the COVID-19 Response Plans for schools published on the www.gov.ie/backtoschool.