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Ireland ‘on track’ to move to Phase 2 on June 8th with schools set to re-open by end of August

Ireland ‘on track’ to move to Phase 2 on June 8th with schools set to re-open by end of August
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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said that Ireland is “on track” to move to Phase Two of the easing of Covid-19 restrictions on Monday June 8th with schools set to re-open by the end of August.

At a press briefing after today’s Cabinet meeting, Leo Varadkar said they are particularly paying attention to new and emerging research about the potential risk of schools being open.

“We know that it’s not a no-risk scenario but it is a low-risk scenario,” he said.

“We are learning from the experience of countries that have at least partially reopened schools already, and from the experience of countries that have had to reimpose restrictions.”

Mr Varadkar said he believes they will achieve the target of opening schools at the end of August, although all students might not be able to return every day for a full day.

He said the objective is to open the schools “as fully as possible, as soon as possible”.

In his media update, the Taoiseach said the issue of moving to the next phase out of lockdown would be discussed by Ministers next week.

He said it was “reassuring” to see the coronavirus numbers going in the “right direction”.

“It takes at least two weeks to know if the actions to ease restrictions are having an effect. It will be next week before we can determine whether we can move to Phase Two.”

Mr Varadkar said that in terms of reducing the two-metre social distancing rule to one metre, it is “too soon for that”.

He said that Covid-19 would need to be suppressed “much more” in the community and the numbers would need to improve for a longer period in order to change the guidance.

“Two metres is safer than 1.5, and 1.5 is safer than one.”