Teachers are worried about rising Covid-19 infection rates in schools, following the decision to allow children who are close contacts of confirmed cases but do not have symptoms to remain in school.

That's according to Vinnie Duffy, the INTO representative for Mayo & Sligo.

Up to now, children who were close contacts and had no symptoms still had to self-isolate and get tested, but from next Monday, the majority of primary school children and those in childcare facilities won't need to.

NPHET says now is the right time as there's no evidence the reopening of schools has led to an increase in transmission or infection levels.

The HSE has also defended the changes for under-12's and says the vast majority of school children do not have the virus.


But Vinnie Duffy, principal of Breaffy National School outside Ballina says the INTO was hoping any such changes would be delayed until after the mid-term break.

He believes the 10-day self-isolation for close contacts was too long, but he claims doing away with it altogether will lead to increased Covid-19 cases in schools.

The INTO representative told Midwest News that he is concerned, but not surprised, at the decision.....