Thursday, 29 April 2021
Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation
The matter of visits to maternity hospitals is under consideration, although I do not know whether there will be an announcement on it today. A strong case is being made for partners to be able to attend antenatal appointments and that is currently under consideration. The change in vaccine guidance is helpful. The national immunisation advisory committee, NIAC, has now advised that pregnant women should receive the vaccine. It will be made available to them and I think that will help the situation.
On antigen testing, there are no plans at the moment to provide free tests to members of the public but antigen testing is now being used much more frequently throughout the country. It was used to test everyone recently at Intel following the outbreak there and will be used more extensively in schools, colleges and workplaces. I expect that the revised protocol on safe working, which my Department is developing in consultation with unions and employers, will have a specific section on antigen testing in workplaces.