Parents have been advised that their children can engage in regular Halloween activities, but if they show flu-like symptoms they should self-isolate.
"People can trick or treat, people can do the things they normally do at Halloween," said Deputy Chief Medical Officer Ronan Glynn. "But maybe don’t do it everyday over the weekend, maybe don’t meet up with multiple different groups of children over the weekend. The core message and the key message is – and it will mean that some children are very disappointed this weekend, but – if you have a sick child, and please isolate them and don’t let them mix with other children."
The advice comes amid news that the first two flu cases of the season were detected this week.
"It’s not a message that any of us want to be giving, and it’s not a message I’m sure that parents want to hear, but we do need to take the basic precautions," Glynn said. "On the other hand if we do take the basic precautions there’s no reason why people can’t do the things that we normally do at Halloween very safely."
NPHET revealed this week that the COVID incidence rate is currently highest among the 5-12 age group. NPHET is now reviewing potentially testing primary school children for the virus.
According to the HSE, the main symptoms of COVID among children are a high fever, a dry cough, or fatigue. A loss of taste or smell, a blocked nose, or a sore throat, are less common symptoms. Sneezing or a runny nose are not considered COVID symptoms.