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Government to prepare draft law that would allow return of mask mandate if required

There are currently no plans to implement any such requirement and sources have stated that this is not expected at any time in the near future.

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Updated Jun 28th 2022, 12:45 PM

HEALTH MINISTER STEPHEN Donnelly is set to draft precautionary legislation that would allow for masks to again be made mandatory in certain settings. 

There are currently no plans to implement any such requirement and sources have stated that this is not expected at any time in the near future.

The rationale for the preparation of the draft legislation is that, unlike during the Covid-19 emergency when there were laws on the books to bring in measures such as a mask mandate, no such legal powers are currently in place. 

The legislation has not yet been drafted but it is not expected to be completed this side of the Dáil’s summer recess, which begins from the middle of next month. 

Cases of Covid-19 have been on the increase in recent weeks due to the spread of subvariants of the Omicron strain. 

Speaking on RTÉ’s Today Claire Byrne this morning, WHO special envoy on Covid-19 Dr David Nabarro said he would “like everybody to be carrying a good clean mask” and to use them if they are feeling unwell or are “clustered together with others”. 

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“If you find yourself clustered together with others in a cellar somewhere with no good ventilation, or in very stuffy public transport that’s really full of people, you want to be wearing a mask then to try to protect yourself,” he said. 

Nabarro said however that he did not believe it was currently appropriate for people to be required to wear masks.

“It’s time to get the marks out again. Not time I don’t think for really strong mandates but I do think places where we know people are at risk are places that perhaps masks should be prioritised,” he said. 

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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