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Date set for the opening of schools in Ireland; Level 5 will last until 5 April

DUBLIN: The Cabinet approved the proposal to extend the Level 5 COVID-19 restrictions till April 5. Prior to that, however, classes will begin in schools in stages from Monday, March 1, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said in a speech after the Cabinet meeting.

The government, which has divided anti-pandemic activities into two phases, has now set April 5 as the first phase. The plans, which will be implemented in phases from April 5, will be formulated later.

Classes for Leaving Cert students will begin in schools next week. Classes for primary school students from junior to infant class to second class will also start next week.

The Early Childhood Pre-School project will resume on March 8, and all childcare will begin operations on March 29.

The remaining primary school students and fifth year secondary school students will return to classes on March 15. Classes for all other secondary school students will begin on April 12 after the Easter holidays.

Although the government has announced such a decision, the final decision will be based on the guidelines of the Health Advisory Council and other circumstances.

The Pandemic Unemployment Payment and Business Assistance Scheme will be extended until the end of June.

Vaccination priority list will be updated. Those with any dangerous medical conditions will be placed on the priority list.

Meanwhile, Micheál Martin praised the special efforts of the people to suppress the virus since the beginning of this year. He said that the government is trying to reactivate the country by reducing the number of infections and accelerating the distribution of the vaccine.

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