The Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, has told the children of Ireland he hopes the Covid-19 situation will improve so they can do the things they want to do at Christmas.

Primary school children from around the country were invited to submit their questions to Dr Glynn on RTÉ News dedicated programme for children, news2day.

Some common themes arose in the hundreds of questions submitted, including Halloween, Christmas, masks, schools, vaccines and family.

Dr Glynn said it was difficult to say when schools would be back to normal but he was optimistic.

He said children have been good at following social distancing and washing their hands and he did not want them to worry unduly about the virus.

"We know children are doing all of the things their parents and teachers are telling them so we want to ask them to do keep doing that. It is really important," he said.

He said that it just is not safe to have play dates right now or go trick-or-treating this year.

"You can still dress up, you can still have a costume party in your house with your brothers and sisters, and you can have a Halloween hunt in your garden," Dr Glynn said.

Responding to pupils who wanted to see more of their extended family, he said "we need to be really careful" at the moment.

"We're quite worried about how much of the virus is in the country but hopefully we will get on top of that in the next couple of weeks. As we do, we can relax things a little bit more and see people a little bit more," he added.

Dr Glynn also offered advice on symptoms, the flu vaccine, and precautions to take with pets.

The schools involved were: Talbot Senior National School in Dublin 22; Monksland National School in Carlingford, Co Louth; St. Joseph's Primary School in Templemore, Co Tipperary; Laragh National School in Bandon Co Cork; Scoil Thomáis in Dublin 15; Scoil Bhríde Cailíní in Dublin 15; Cloughfin National School in Co Donegal; Dundalk Grammar School in Co Louth; Ballyheane National School in Castlebar, Co Mayo; Creagh National School in Co Galway; Gaelscoil Uí Ríordáin in Ballincollig, Co Cork; Scoil Phádraig Naofa in Mountmellick, Co Laois; St Finian's National School in Dublin 11; and St Anne's School in Ennis, Co Clare.

The Monday-Friday news2day bulletin will return to RTÉ 2 at 4.20pm after the midterm break.