Teachers and secondary school students to wear face coverings

The new rule will apply in cases where the two-metre social distancing rule cannot be met. Photo: PA

The Department of Education has recommended that teachers and secondary school students should wear face coverings, similar to those worn in shops or on public transport.

The Minister for Education Norma Foley issued updated guidelines for schools on Friday evening.

She said the new rule will apply in cases where the two-metre social distancing rule cannot be met.

Funding of €102 million has been issued to schools so far to cover the cost of minor works to create more space in classrooms and to install hand-washing stations.

Meanwhile, the National Public Health Emergency Team has recommended new regional restrictions in Kildare, Offaly and Laois for two weeks following a large increase in Covid-19 cases in the counties.

Cafes, restaurants and pubs will close as well as cinemas theatres and museums. There will be no sporting events or matches. Gyms will also have to close.