People Before Profit has called for robust contract tracing in primary schools, telling a press conference that the responsibility for antigen testing has been placed on the shoulders of parents and principals.

Speaking at the launch of the party's bill on ventilation, Paul Murphy said that the rollout of antigen testing in schools was "better than nothing", but it wasn't a substitute for full contact tracing.

The conference was addressed by Dr Kim Roberts, Assistant Professor of Virology at Trinity College Dublin, who spoke of the dangers posed by poor ventilation in indoor settings.

Dr Roberts said that HEPA filters could help maintain clean air in rooms during the winter months.

People Before Profit's bill would create minimum fresh air standards and would give employees the ability to request health and safety inspections.

Asked if the presence of the Omicron variant in Ireland would warrant further restrictions, Dr Roberts said that it would depend on whether the new variant turned out to be more transmissible than Delta.

Dr Roberts said that Ireland was already struggling to control transmission of Delta.

She called for a "strengthening of messaging" to reinforce public health advice to reduce the incidence of Delta, which would help to identify Omicron, if it is present here.