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Covid-19 Pandemic

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 21 October 2020

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Questions (242)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

242. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 459 of 15 September 2020, 133 of 7 October 2020 and 174 of 14 October 2020, if his Department will provide a sample showing the exact format of the medical certificate required to certify that a secondary school student falls into one of the categories for a face covering exemption; if a copy of this sample medical certificate will appear on his Department’s website; if he will provide a link to same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31926/20]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As the Deputy is aware, the Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19 was published by the Government on 15 September, 2020. This Plan provides a framework setting out Ireland's approach to managing and living with COVID-19 in a range of areas over the next 6 - 9 months.

The Deputy may wish to note that there is ongoing and close consideration being given by Government to the policy in relation to schools. The Plan acknowledges the key role of schools in supporting not just the academic progress of our children and young people, but their overall physical and mental health and wellbeing. Ensuring that schools can remain safely open in the context of the escalation of restrictive measures remains a Government priority. 

The Deputy should note that the wearing of face coverings in schools is a matter for the Minister for the Department of Education and Skills. 

I understand that the Department of Education and Skills has published clarification on the use of face coverings for schools. As previously indicated to the Deputy by my colleague the Minister for Education and Skills, a medical certificate can take a written format once it is a certified by an appropriate medical authority, such as a G.P.  

Up-to-date Government advice and resources for schools, parents and students in the context of COVID-19 is published at https://www.gov.ie/backtoschool.

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