Sean Defoe
Sean Defoe

22.35 22 Feb 2021


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Schools and childcare facilities are set to start reopening from early March, but other level five restrictions will remain in place until at least April 5th.

It follows a meeting of the Cabinet COVID-19 sub-committee on Monday evening, ahead of a full Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Ministers are set to sign off on a new 'living with COVID' plan, which is set to be published tomorrow.

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For now, however, the vast majority of lockdown restrictions are set to remain in place, pending full Cabinet approval.

Schools will start reopening on a phased basis from March 1st - initially with Leaving Cert students, and primary school students from junior infants to second class.

There'll be two other phases for schools reopening, on March 15th (fifth years and all other primary school classes) and April 12th (all remaining secondary school classes).

Childcare will also start to return from March 8th on a staggered basis, starting with those on the ECCE scheme.

House building won't resume for another month, with the construction sector to remain largely closed through March.

All level five measures will be reviewed again on April 5th.

The update to the living with COVID plan will not be similar to the lockdown exit plan announced in the UK today.

No dates will be given beyond April for the easing of restrictions.

There will, however, be an update to the vaccine timeline and the review of the priority list.

Additional reporting by Stephen McNeice
Main image: File photo. Picture by: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

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