Taoiseach suggests schools will remain closed until the end of January

by Dublin Gazette
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Taoiseach Micheal Martin has indicated that schools will remain closed until the end of the month.

Speaking on RTE radio’s News At One, the Taoiseach said he and Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan are in agreement that there is an issue with there being so many people ‘on the go’ travelling to and from schools.

He said that limiting the movement of people similar to levels seen in March last year is key to suppressing the virus, given the rapidity of the spread of the virus in recent weeks.

The closure of schools will be reviewed on January 30, he said, and that the Cabinet sub-committee on Covid-19 are also expected to discuss the possible closure of construction and manufacturing when they meet.

The Taoiseach said: “We really have to say to people you’ve got to stay at home over the next number of weeks are essential purposes.

“Opening schools means that a million people are out there in the community. Given the rapidity and the spread of the disease, and given what we’re witnessing elsewhere in other jurisdictions in terms of that rapidity and that growth, one has to really measure the advisability of doing that.

“That’s why it is on the agenda today that we would extend out the closure of schools to the end of the month.”

The sub-Cabinet committee will also discuss the issue of special education at the meeting.

The Taoiseach also acknowledged the closure of schools will also impact frontline workers and their ability to attend work, and said it is an issue ‘that’s complex’ and is now not as ‘simple’ as it was last March.

“The overall principle that will inform the discussions today is reducing mobility as much as we possibly can out there, and the essential necessity of everybody – everybody – to adhere to the guidelines, to the guidance that has been laid down, because that is the way that we suppress this virus.

“That is the way we protect our hospitals. That is the way we protect the most vulnerable in our society.”

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