While younger primary school pupils are expected to return to class from early March, deliberations continue as to when tens of thousands of children can return to creches and other childcare providers.
Senior Ministers will meet on Monday to finalise a revised Living with Covid-19 Plan ahead of a full Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) has advised the current Level 5 restrictions should be extended beyond the current cut-off date of March 5th.
The Irish Times reports that Nphet has advised the reopening of schools and childcare can happen on a “cautious and phased basis” as long as Covid-19 numbers continue to improve to the end of February.
On Monday, Nphet reported one further death from Covid-19 and 679 new cases.
Secondary students may have to wait until April 12…
Many students may have to wait until April 12th before they return to the classroom under school reopening plans under discussion. Unions are expected to finalise a return to school plan with Department of Education officials on Monday.
Sources told The Irish Times the reopening of childcare would be considered at a meeting of the Childcare Covid-19 Advisory Group to be attended by Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman on Monday.
Its discussions will feed into the later Cabinet sub-committee meeting involving Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan and senior Ministers.
Nphet’s advice to the Government is that further reopening of the economy and society should be undertaken cautiously and on a step-by-step basis, taking into account the impact on case numbers of the initial moves in relation to education.