THE UPCOMING mid-term break is likely to be extended by a further week in an attempt to curb the spread of Covid-19, according to reports.
According to The Irish Independent, the Government coalition partners are discussing adding an additional week to the break, which had been due to take place between 26 - 30 October.
Senior Coalition sources from the coalition, made up of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party, reportedly told the outlet that the proposal has been discussed and could come into effect regardless of the level of restrictions the nation is currently under.
Currently, all 24 counties in the Irish Republic are under Level 3 restrictions; this could be reduced or heightened depending on the number of daily cases confirmed in the coming days and weeks.
A firm decision on the extended closure of schools has not yet been made, the source added, but the idea is being proposed in many countries.
"We want schools to be open," the source told The Irish Independent, "but a lot of EU countries are looking at it to suppress [the] virus, Northern Ireland included."
Most schools in Ireland have reopened since the end of August, and Government officials have reiterated that it is vital for them to remain open.
Following reports from The Irish Independent, a spokesperson for the Department of Health released a statement insisting there was 'no plans' for schools to closed.
"To date the evidence demonstrates that schools have reopened safely supported by significant investment to support all infection prevention and control measures recommended by the public health authorities," the statement reads.
"The Irish experience to date supports the current international position that schools are low risk environments for COVID-19 and are not key drivers of transmission in the community."
Yesterday, a further 506 cases of the virus were confirmed in Ireland, bringing the total to 40,086.
One more person is reported to have died with the Covid-19, bringing Ireland's death toll to 1,817.