#Covid-19: Children can hug grandparents over summer if measures successful, says Varadkar 1 week ago

#Covid-19: Children can hug grandparents over summer if measures successful, says Varadkar

"I know some grandparents who have yet to see and meet and hold their newborn grandchild."

Children can hug their grandparents over the summer if the current Covid-19 measures are successful, Leo Varadkar has said.

The Taoiseach said today that children will likely be able to visit their grandparents over the course of the summer "assuming everything else goes in the right direction."

This comes after HIQA reported that children under the age of 14 do not appear to significantly contribute to the spread of coronavirus. 

RTÉ News reports that Varadkar called the new research "encouraging."

"I think that is very significant," he said. "It will form part of the discussion, but it won't be among the measures that we hope to put into effect on Monday.

"Everybody wants grandchildren to be able to see their grandparents, and I know some grandparents who have yet to see and meet and hold their newborn grandchild, and you can imagine how they must feel.

"I think those things, assuming everything else goes in the right direction, will be possible over the course of the summer - but won't be among the actions that we'll be announcing on Monday."

Monday, May 18, marks the expected second stage of easing of restrictions in Ireland. The decision will be made based on ICU patients and virus reproduction rates.

Varadkar added that the reopening of schools and childcare facilities could be "among the safest things we can do."

"I am conscious of the fact that some countries in Europe never fully closed their schools childcare facilities," he said.

"We need to make sure we do it safely and work with the education sector and the childcare sector to make sure that it's possible."