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18th Feb 2022

Will Ireland’s schools continue to use pods?

Kat O'Connor

Will schools continue using pods?

NPHET has issued a new update about Ireland’s Covid-19 measures.

Yesterday, Dr. Tony Holohan recommended an end to mask-wearing in all settings, except healthcare.

NPHET has also given an update on Covid-19 measures in schools.

Parents are conflicted about the end to mask-wearing in schools, but another measure has is also set to end.

NPHET believes it is time to end pods in schools in Ireland.

Pods were introduced in a bid to minimise contacts in Ireland’s classrooms.

Children were grouped in pods to reduce the spread of Covid-19. The pods ensured pupils would only mix with their own class during the school day.

Pupils were told to keep at least 1 metre distance between individual pods within the class bubble. They should also keep 1 metre between individuals in the pod, whenever possible.

The bubbles had separate breaks and mealtimes.

Earlier this week, the Teachers’ Union of Ireland expressed concerns about the relaxation of measures.

The TUI told The Irish Times, “If we stop everything all of a sudden, there is a risk that we’ll have lots of students and teachers missing. We’re urging a cautious approach.”

“We have sought assurances that infection prevention and control measures would remain in place in both primary and special schools for the 28 school days between the mid-term break and the Easter holidays, at the very least,” a spokesperson commented.

“We have also set out our concern at the challenging situation in schools in recent weeks, despite these measures still being in place.”

The spokesperson added, “The measures we’ve had in place have managed to keep the number of cases below those in the wider community.”

Do you agree with NPHET’s recommendation?