No plans to close schools over coronavirus concerns - Department of Education 2 months ago

No plans to close schools over coronavirus concerns - Department of Education

"Public health professionals will contact schools if there is any action to be taken. Schools should not take unilateral action."

Irish schools are set to remain open as the coronavirus outbreak continues to intensify as a matter of public concern.

On Monday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar confirmed that all planned St. Patrick's Day parades have been officially cancelled, with Varadkar urging the public to scale back on social gatherings where possible.

The message from the Department of Education and Skills, meanwhile, is that schools will remain open until further notice.

In a statement issued on Tuesday afternoon (10 March), the Department noted that it is working closely with the Department of Health on a continuing basis and that any decision to close schools will be made on public health advice.

"There is no such advice at this point," notes the official statement.

"It is essential that any decisions regarding responses to Covid-19 are proportionate, necessary and based on specific public health advice. No other response is appropriate.

"Public health professionals will contact schools if there is any action to be taken. Schools should not take unilateral action."

Schools, pre-schools and higher education settings have been provided with advice and guidance regarding the Covid-19 outbreak. People may access that database here.

"The Department is deeply conscious of the significance of decisions concerning school closures, and the potential  impact any such decisions would have on parents, families and the wider community," continues the Department of Education statement.

"This is an evolving situation and the health advice is being updated on a daily basis. The Department of Education and Skills and Department of Health will continue to work closely together on this issue."

On Tuesday, Trinity College issued a statement confirming that all lectures will be delivered online for the remainder of the semester, effective from Wednesday (11 March).