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Face masks now recommended for children over the age of nine

Children over the age of nine are to be asked to wear face-masks in local schools, shops and on public transport.

NPHET has also recommended against sleepovers, indoor playdates, pantos, nativity plays and communions for the under 12’s for at least the next two weeks.

The rules on mask wearing will be reassessed in mid-February.

It’s understood NPHET has also recommended the wider use of digital Covid certs for settings where the virus could spread.

Any new restrictions on wider society will be considered at a meeting next week.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly and the Cabinet will now consider the advice.