The Taoiseach says the Government intends to reopen all schools at the start of the next academic year.
Speaking outside Government Buildings this afternoon, Leo Varadkar said the reopening of schools is “not no-risk but is low-risk.”
He noted that the reopening may not mean all children returning on the same day, but said he expects all schools to reopen at the end of August.
“As the research continues to come in, we know that is not a no-risk scenario, but it is a low-risk scenario to reopen schools,” he said.
Children will be grouped into ‘play-pods’ when childcare services resume at the end of June.
The roadmap for reopening originally said childcare would only be made available for essential workers when it resumes on June 29th; however, that has now been expanded to include other groups.
These include parents who can’t return to work without childcare, children who are vulnerable and children with disabilities.
Frontline workers will be given priority.
The Government will not extend its deal with private hospitals beyond the end of June.
The Department of Public Expenditure will instead look to negotiate a new deal, which would allow full access to private facilities if a second wave of the virus arrives.
They hope the new deal will also see private hospitals used for some non-COVID health care services.
The plan was agreed by Cabinet this morning, despite the opposition of the HSE.
Workers in the public sector will get a planned pay rise in October, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has said.
He told Newstalk Breakfast: "We also do have commitments that we have made to public sector unions over the last three years.
"And the very workers that we are talking about have been at the frontline - in particular in our hospitals, in our Gardaí - in dealing with some of the most difficult consequences of COVID".
"What we will need to do when a new government is formed is we'll need to sit down and look at what is the future of public pay going to be here in our country, and look at all of these issues in that context.
Six more coronavirus patients have died in Ireland taking the death toll to 1,645.
A further 29 cases have also been confirmed taking the national total to 24,876.
The Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said: “As we approach the last week of Phase 1, it is encouraging to see ICU and hospital admissions declining, the number of new cases remaining stable and a 90% recovery rate in the community.”
“Moving into next week, I would urge everyone to look back at the progress we have made over the past number of weeks and maintain our efforts to suppress COVID-19 into the future.”