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Ministers have given the go ahead to draft new laws around mandatory mask wearing in certain settings.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly will look to re-enact some pandemic powers ahead of the winter.

The legislation which gave power to mask mandates and other Covid restrictions has lapsed – but the Government wants to bring some parts back.

Ministers gave approval this morning to draft legislation to enforce mandatory mask wearing in certain settings.

Sources stressed there are no plans to bring back a mask mandate at the moment and no such settings have been identified.

However, they compared it to buying winter tyres for a car.

Ministers want to have the power available to bring back a mask mandate should there be a big Covid surge in the winter.

The actual laws haven’t been drafted yet and as such won’t be passed before the Dáil’s summer recess.

But they will be on the agenda early in the new term in September.