The Government has green lit the return of all primary school pupils to in-classroom teaching from next week.
In a letter to schools this afternoon, the Department of Education confirmed that the next phase of school reopenings will proceed from March 15th.
Under the next phase, all remaining primary school students from third to sixth class and fifth years at second level will resume in-person education.
The letter from the Department said public health officials were satisfied with the infection prevention and control measures in place in schools.
If rigorously adhered to, [these measures] will keep the school community safe
“Public health has reviewed the measures put in place to ensure safe operation of schools and is satisfied that these infection prevention and control measures, if rigorously adhered to, will keep the school community safe during this period,” it said.
The letter also reminded principals that unnecessary travel should be avoided and schools should make “every effort” to avoid organising events that could lead to the congregation of pupils.
Schools were also asked to remind parents and students not to congregate at school gates or in school grounds.
Health officials have only had one week of reopening data to analyse before coming to the decision to continue with the phased reopening plan next week.
More data is due to be released on the number of cases in schools, however, officials have decided the numbers are low enough to allow hundreds of thousands more students to return to the classroom.
All remaining students, from first to fourth in secondary school, are set to wait until after Easter to return to the classroom.