Irish students required to maintain 1m social distance when schools return

Irish students required to maintain 1m social distance when schools return

ALMOST all Irish students will be required to maintain a distance of at least one metre between each other when schools return.

Under the new guidance issued by the Department of Education, primary school pupils from third-year up as well as all secondary school students will have to socially distance from their teachers and their peers.

The guidance does however recognise that there will be exceptions, such as administering first aid and other emergencies.

Despite the fact that a one-metre distance is what's required, the guidance recommends that students and teachers go even further and maintain a two-metre distance where possible.

Face masks and other pieces of PPE will not be required or made mandatory for students, though they are encouraged.

It's been advised that teachers, not students, move from room to room between lessons to prevent students from moving around in large groups.

Students are also being encouraged to walk and cycle to school wherever possible, and also to have stagger the times they arrive and leave school so they don't cluster with other kids.

"There are particular issues with small children because they tend to put things in their mouths and naturally seek very close contact with caregivers and other children," the guidance reads.

"In second level education there may be different challenges related to intimacy between teenagers which may also pose a risk of infection. Generally speaking the larger the number of people in a group, the more people are placed at risk of infection is accidentally introduced."