Coronavirus: Ireland’s schools set to reopen fully by end of August

Dublin delayed plan to end Irish lockdown early this month after surge in cases

A mother and daughter cycle to school in Dublin, Ireland.  Local Caption 
A mother and daughter cycle to school in Dublin, Ireland.  Local Caption 

Schools in Ireland will reopen at the end of August as the country continues to ease its coronavirus lockdown, Prime Minister Micheal Martin said on Monday.

The Irish government made the announcement after a Cabinet meeting at Dublin Castle.

Ireland's blueprint for reopening schools includes €370 million (Dh1.59 billion) in spending to ensure safety.

More than 4,000 schools have been closed since March 13, two weeks before Ireland entered a full lockdown.

Under the plan, schools can hire 1,000 more post-primary teachers to reduce class sizes and better allow social distancing.

The Irish Minister for Education, Norma Foley, said children in the first four years of primary school would not need to keep their distance, but older years would have to stay one metre apart from other pupils.

"There is no zero-risk scenario but we can dramatically limit the risk of the spread of the virus through our schools," Mr Martin said.

The spending will also cover the costs of protective equipment and cleaning supplies, and make special provisions for those considered vulnerable to Covid-19.

Psychologists and other emotional support will also be provided.

Ireland has recorded 1,764 deaths from the virus, with a single-day peak of 77 in April.

There have been many days in recent weeks with no new deaths.

But this month the government delayed its plan to end lockdown measures early because of a surge in the number of new cases and a rise in the infection rate.

Updated: July 28, 2020 02:21 PM

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