Legal requirement to wear masks ending next Monday

The cabinet has agreed to end the legal requirement to wear a mask from next Monday.

They’ll be optional on public transport and in shops and schools.

PCR testing is also set to be scaled down – most under 55s with symptoms won’t be eligible to get one.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly says they’ll keep monitoring any new variants that emerge.

He is insisting that they will be prepared to step back up if it is needed in the future.

While he acknowledged that this is good news the Government will maintain that rapid response capacity.