Level 5 restrictions to stay until at least April despite school reopening plan

Phased reopening of schools set to begin in March but outdoor gatherings to remain banned.

Schools will begin their phased reopening from the start of March but Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions will remain in place at least until April under the Government’s latest plan for dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Cabinet Covid-19 committee met on Thursday evening where Ministers were updated by the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet), the HSE and the vaccine taskforce.

Sources said that Level 5 restrictions would remain in place “for at least the next number of weeks and likely beyond that”.

In primary schools, junior infants to second class are scheduled to reopen under the first phase, and third class to sixth class in the second phase a few weeks later.

At secondary level, sixth year students are set to return first, followed by third year and fifth year students a few weeks later and the rest possibly to return in April under the plans, which will go for Cabinet approval next week.

A mooted re-opening of construction is unlikely to be supported by Nphet while hopes that outdoor sports could resume and that people could meet outdoors have also been dashed.



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