Phased school reopening central to revised Covid plan | #coronavirus | #kids. | #children | #schools

A phased reopening of schools and childcare will be at the centre of the Government’s revised Living with Covid-19 plan, which is due to be published after being considered by Cabinet this afternoon.

However, it is expected that Level 5 restrictions will remain in place for at least another six weeks.

The Cabinet sub-Committee on Covid-19 met at Government Buildings last night to agree a recommendation to Cabinet on the Coalition’s plan to reopen the country. 

After receiving an update on coronavirus transmission and the vaccine rollout from Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn and Health Service Executive CEO Paul Reid, they signed off on a plan that has the reopening of schools as a core objective. 

It is understood that the sub-committee has advocated a class return for junior and senior infants on Monday 1 March, as well as first and second classes in primary schools.

Leaving Certificate students would be the only class from secondary school to go back.

Two weeks later on 15 March the second phase would see all other primary classes return, as well as 5th year in secondary school.

All other classes in secondary school are scheduled to return on 12 April, which is after the scheduled Easter holidays.

RTÉ News understands that the Cabinet is also set to announce a phased reopening of the childcare sector, including target dates when the stages will be achieved.

However, as widely predicted, Level 5 restrictions will remain in place for at least a further six weeks, with a review being held on 5 April.

Meanwhile, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly was obliged to clarify comments he made on RTÉ’s Claire Byrne Live last night regarding talks with teaching unions on the school return.

He told the programme that the talks were ongoing when in fact they had concluded yesterday afternoon.

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