With Ireland lifting the legal requirement to wear a mask in all settings apart from healthcare, it has caused debate among members of the Irish population on whether they will continue to wear masks.
It was also made clear that vaccinations will not be a requirement in Ireland, instead, they will be “recommended” and “encouraged”.
For some people, the lifting of mask restrictions is met with mixed emotions.
Pedro Izquierdo who is currently living and working in Limerick and suffers from severe asthma said:
“I am very nervous I really don’t know what to think of it, I am vaccinated but I still feel worried, I will continue to wear my mask”.
While Mr Izquierdo expresses his worries, the lifting of masks is also welcomed by many, “I can’t wait for masks to be lifted, they are annoying when I am working as I move around a lot and get so warm” said Meadhbh* who is a UL student and works at a local Limerick café.
Anne O’Neill who manages Oakleigh Kids Crecora after school said, “I welcome the lifting of the mask requirement; it is difficult for me and my staff to wear a mask all day every day”.
Working with young children, doing tasks such as helping with homework is made “much more difficult” by mask-wearing claimed Mrs. O’Neill.
“I am not worried for myself or the children’s health as I am fully vaccinated, very careful and I expect others will be equally as vigilant” the afterschool manager stated.
NPHET (National Public Health Emergency Team) has recommended that there be no “vaccine mandates” in Ireland. The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar stated that “we will continue with our policy of explaining and encouraging people to get vaccinated and get boosted”.