Government "fully intends" for schools to reopen on January 11 1 month ago

Government "fully intends" for schools to reopen on January 11

"It is the belief of both the public health and the department that schools remain safe places..."

The government has said it "fully intends" for schools to reopen on January 11.

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The Department of Education confirmed this morning that they still intend for primary and secondary schools to reopen again next Monday, after the Christmas holidays were extended last week.

Schools were initially supposed to reopen on January 6 but the break was extended to give families extra time to reduce their social contacts before returning.

The department issued a statement this morning confirming that they still intend for schools to reopen on January 11.

"Both the Department and the Government fully intend that the schools will reopen on 11 January," they said.

"This extended break will allow every member of the school community to follow public health advice closely and minimise their contacts before children return to school.

"It is the belief of both the public health and the department that schools remain safe places of learning for all members of school communities. The department will continue to engage with education stakeholders and public health."

This comes after Ireland saw its most severe increase in reported Covid-19 cases. Yesterday saw a record 3,394 new cases of the virus recorded, a near double of the highest recorded figure in December.

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Minister for Education Norma Foley confirmed that the Christmas break would be extended earlier this week.

She said that the extended break would give families of pupils and teachers time to reduce their contacts before returning to school.

Elsewhere, students in the North of Ireland will also face a delay in going back to school as cases continue to rise.

Education Minister Peter Weir revealed earlier this week that most students will learn remotely for the first week of term. Years 8 to 11 will continue with remote learning for the rest of the month.