COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery 2021 - The Path Ahead. Government publishes a guide to the upcoming changes
The government has today decided to facilitate the safe return of in-school education and childcare services on a cautious and phased basis during March and April.
This will be alongside the scaling up of the vaccination programme in line with supply, ensuring that all vaccine doses are administered to target groups as soon as possible.
The current public health restrictions will remain in place until 5 April 2021, when a further review will be conducted.
Schools and childcare
Measures to support business and those unable to work due to the pandemic will be extended further.
The impact of these restrictions on the economic, physical and mental well-being of our communities is considerable. An additional €10 million in funding will be made available to meet the increase for mental health services, and a further top-up of €10 million will be made available to enable critical services to continue being delivered to vulnerable groups.
The revised plan for managing the virus – COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery 2021: The Path Ahead – sets out how in-school education and childcare services will be reinstated in a phased manner from 1 March, with staggered return throughout March to be concluded after the Easter break on 12 April (Details below).
The decision to extend Level 5 restrictions is difficult and will have considerable impact on all parts of our economy and society. However, we continue to have an unacceptably high level of disease in the community, so we must continue to suppress the disease. The higher transmissibility of new variants requires all other restrictions to remain in place while these initial services reopen.
This cautious, measured approach is being taken in order to:
If the transmission of the virus reaches acceptable levels, the vaccination programme progresses as planned and public health advice allows, further options that will be considered from 5 April are:
Any further easing of restrictions after 5 April will need a further three to four week period to allow for assessment of the impact of changes
The requirement to work from home will continue throughout this period, unless work is an essential health, social care or other essential service or activity that cannot be done from home.
Government’s community support and well-being programmes will continue and employment and business supports will be extended, many of them to June.
Phased Return to In-School Education
The phased return of in-school education and childcare services will be implemented as follows:
1 March 2021:
Early years and school-aged childcare
The staggered resumption of early learning and childcare services will take place over the following phases:
Over the coming period, Government will continue to support workers by:
In addition, Government will continue to support business by:
Local Communities and Local Delivery
Wellbeing and Mental Health
The government is committed to developing a clear roadmap for a return of activities in the hardest hit sectors including tourism, culture and sport.