Ireland reported a record number of Covid-19 cases this week, with the rapidly spreading Omicron variant accounting for almost all infections.
More than 50,000 new cases have been confirmed so far this week, with experts warning that the actual number could be much higher due to the limited availability of PCR tests.
Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan has urged people to limit their social contact to Christmas and New Years and some people have questioned whether schools will reopen as planned on Thursday, January 6.
A meeting between Education Minister Norma Foley and the teachers’ unions is due to take place before this date, on Tuesday January 4.
In a statement, the Ministry of Education said: âThe minister recognizes the enormous importance of schools for children and young people.
âAll infection prevention and control measures in place in schools are constantly being reviewed, and the minister and ministry continued to engage with public health officials over the Christmas season.
“As previously agreed, a meeting with public health will take place next Tuesday between unions, management bodies, the Minister and the Ministry of Education ahead of the reopening of schools.”
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said on Friday that schools were scheduled to reopen as scheduled, describing them as “very controlled environments”.
âThe plan is to reopen the schools.
âAll the information I have received, all the advice I have received says that while of course you can get an infection in schools, they are significantly safer, for example, than children outside of schools. schools.
“The decision is that the schools will reopen and I don’t know of any other European country that is considering closing their schools at the moment,” he told RTE’s News At One.
Also speaking on Friday, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said the planned reopening of schools next week remained “under consideration”, but it is expected that all primary and secondary schools will reopen after the holidays. of Christmas.
âFor now, schools are expected to reopen next week.
âWe are keeping this whole situation under review, but as it is now, that is our current advice.
“We are doing all we can to protect the most important public services we have,” he told Morning Ireland on RTE on Friday.