School reopening may be delayed due to new variants of Covid-19

ireland
School Reopening May Be Delayed Due To New Variants Of Covid-19 School Reopening May Be Delayed Due To New Variants Of Covid-19
A locked gate at a primary school, © PA Wire/PA Images
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Digital Desk Staff

Two Cabinet sub-committees will meet later this week to firm up recommendations on this year’s Leaving Certificate as well as the phased return to schools.

As The Irish Times reports, there are suggestions emerging from Government that the timetable for the wider reopening of schools might be delayed a little following the latest public health advice on new variants of Covid-19.

As talks continued on Tuesday evening between Minister for Education Norma Foley and teachers’ unions, the Government said it hoped the negotiations on Leaving Certificate arrangements would reach a conclusion this week.

A spokesman said that the Cabinet’s education sub-committee was meeting on Wednesday in an effort to bring clarity, on the Leaving Certificate situation and on the phased reopening of schools.

A Government spokesman said there was no definite date yet on the reopening of schools but said the Leaving Certificate classes would be the immediate priority followed by early years primary children, namely junior infants and senior infants.

Slower pace

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At a press briefing following the weekly Cabinet meeting it was also disclosed the Cabinet sub-committee on Covid-19 would meet on Thursday and would examine the wider reopening of schools.

That meeting, a spokesman said, would be informed by the latest advice from the European Centre for Disease Control on the new variants of Covid-19 which have raised risk levels.

While schools in themselves are safe, the Government has said there needs to be a “note of caution around mass mobility”.

That suggests that the Government will move at a slower pace than originally planned with the phased reopening of schools.

At its meeting on Tuesday, the Cabinet also discussed mandatory quarantine at designated hotels for people arriving from some countries, with officials attempting to iron out the detail of the plan.

The Government said afterwards that only “minor issues” remained to be resolved in proposed new quarantine legislation.

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