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Schools, colleges shut as Government moves to delay COVID-19

Schools, colleges and childcare facilities are closed from today, as Government measures to stop ...
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

07.26 13 Mar 2020


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Schools, colleges shut as Gove...

Schools, colleges shut as Government moves to delay COVID-19

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

07.26 13 Mar 2020


Share this article


Schools, colleges and childcare facilities are closed from today, as Government measures to stop the spread of coronavirus take effect.

They are part of measures announced on Thursday - which also saw all outdoor events of over 500 people postponed.

This included sports and music venues, which have closed their doors until March 29th.

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Seventy people are now confirmed to have the illness here, after 27 new cases were announced on Thursday night.

One person has died.

Meanwhile the Government says it is trying to find a way to provide childcare for health service workers during the two week closures.

Unions have urged the Health Service Executive (HSE) to prioritise childcare for health staff.

The HSE told health unions it has asked the departments of health and public expenditure to put measures in place to "prioritise childcare and other arrangements" to allow health workers do their job.

In a conference call with the HSE on Thursday, Fórsa and other unions stressed the need for supports to ensure health staff can continue to spearhead effort to tackle the crisis

The HSE told them that political leaders supported this approach, and said unions should expect an update on Friday.

Separately, the Government issued new guidance on civil and public service working arrangements on foot of its announcement of school closures and other measures.

The guidance says staff redeployment across the civil and public services could be required to ensure the maintenance of essential services, and also calls for the reassignment of staff within organisations to prioritise the most critical services.

It addresses the situation of staff with childcare difficulties caused by the closure of schools and crèches, and says employers should consider extending and staggering opening hours in response to this.

It also reiterates existing advice on self-isolation.


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