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General News / February 18, 2022

NPHET likely to disband and mask-wearing lifted by February 28

General News / February 18, 2022

NPHET likely to disband and mask-wearing lifted by February 28

Words: Eva O’Beirne

Today, Stephen Donnelly will be reviewing the recommendation from NPHET that mask-wearing should not be required in public spaces, transport, schools and taxis.

A detailed letter from NPHET was sent to Government last night which outlined both recommendations to eliminate mandatory mask wearing and the suggestion that NPHET disband. If accepted by the Cabinet next Tuesday, it would mean that mandatory mask wearing will no longer apply in all settings except healthcare.

February 28 has been suggested as a possible date for the change in policy.

The decision to disband NPHET currently lies with Stephen Donnelly as the country “transitions out of a pandemic scenario,” according to a member of the health team. Dr. Mary Favier, the Covid-19 adviser to the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP), said this week that NPHET had achieved its goals. 

In the Dáil yesterday, the Green Party leader and Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said that his personal view was there should be an immediate lifting of mandatory mask wearing if that was backed by public health advice.

Opposition response to the mask mandate being lifted has been mixed, with People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy criticising the decision, outlining that masks protect vulnerable workers.

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