Face masks will have to be worn indoors until Christmas, Taoiseach warns

Face masks will have to be worn indoors until Christmas, Taoiseach warns

FACE MASKS are likely to remain mandatory indoors until at least Christmas, Micheál Martin has warned.

The Taoiseach says we need to wary of not only Covid-19, but other airborne viruses when winter comes around, and wearing face masks in indoor spaces may be the best way to keep everyone safe.

"I think we should continue on with masks, used with discretion," Martin told the Irish Mirror.

"I’d go through the winter period. Not in an obligatory way, but I’m talking about before Christmas, indoor settings maybe.

"Look, we’re vulnerable now because last winter we got no influenza because we were all 5km away from each other, fully locked down, so there could be a lot of viruses coming our way and our immunity may not be as strong.

"Potentially there is the combination of the new influenza season with new variants of the virus. What will Covid bring in the wintertime?"

Martin reiterated that Ireland will not have a 'Freedom Day' like in the UK, where all or most of the public health restrictions are lifted in one big go, insisting that a more gradual, cautious approach would be used instead.

"I don’t believe in the Freedom Day sort of thing, it doesn’t just stop one day…. We will ease our way out of this."

Ireland's vaccination programme has been moving from strength to strength and there are hopes that every adult will have been offered both of theirs jabs before the end of September.

The country has now tuned its attention to youngsters, and will be offering inoculations to kids over the age of 12 later this month.

Martin added that once its advised that children under the age of 12 should be vaccinated, Ireland will prepared to move forward and administer a swift rollout.