A LEADING IRISH IMMUNOLOGIST says he believes children should wear face masks when they return to school next month.
Prof. Luke O'Neill of Trinity College Dublin says he doesn't understand why the government hasn't made them a mandatory requirement, particularly for secondary school pupils.
While primary schools aren't even attempting enforce the wearing of masks due to the complications of making sure young children adhere to all the rules, face masks in secondary schools are an advisable yet optional choice for students - something Prof O'Neill has an issue with.
"Why shouldn't teenagers wear masks as they do if they're on the Dart or in a supermarket?" O'Neill asks.
"Then the question becomes how often during the day will they wear them, is learning going to be affected by mask wearing, but certainly it's another measure to use to keep everybody safe.
"The Germans seem to have a halfway house, where you don't wear them in the classroom, but when you come out of the classroom you put them on immediately in the school, you know, and that seems to be sensible approach to me."
This comes after it was revealed that 20% of Irish parents don't want their children to return to school when they reopen - in case they catch coronavirus.
According to a new survey, 70% of parents believe that they don't have enough information about the return to school and the health and social implications that go with it.
Despite this, the survey also revealed that around 50% of parents believed it was important that children return to school as soon as possible - despite the obvious health risks.