Thousands of children are returning to school today after a change to contact tracing rules.
From today, children aged 12 or under who are close contacts in schools and are asymptomatic won't have to restrict their movements.
The head of the HSE says the rules around close contacts in schools are changing based on the balance of risk.
Children identified as close contacts in Special Educational Needs settings and respite care will still be referred for testing
Paul Reid says the evidence shows the infection rate in schools is relatively low:
"Firstly the transmission levels in school being much lower than they are in the community but equally the numbers of infected children within the school settings are relatively low.
"That's the kind of evidence we are seeing. We've been monitoring it since the schools have returned.
"And as I do mention, that's what we have weigh up in the balance of this."
Monitor The Situation
Sinn Fein's Education spokesperson, Donnchadh O'Laoghaire says the removal of contact tracing in schools and childcare facilities must be monitored:
"We need to keep an eye on the fallout of this.
"We recognised that there was going to be a need for change because the level of disruption was so significant but this has probably gone a bit further than was expected."
O'Laoghaire says: "The situation needs to be kept under review but we need to ensure that there's enough mitigation measures if there's not going to be contact tracing."