Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has indicated that schools will reopen on a phased basis beginning in February.
The Fine Gael leader, however, did not give any dates or any further details of the return to education plan.
Pupils have not been back at their desks since they broke up for Christmas holidays back in December.
For many it will now be the middle of March when they return.
Speaking to RTÉ’s Claire Byrne Live, Mr Varadkar said: “I cannot give a definite date to parents, but the one thing that we do intend is to open education on a phased basis across February and March, starting with those kids with additional needs.
He said Government will continue to consult with education partners on this.
“It has to be done by agreement. We want to start with the special schools and then perhaps primary schools and exam classes,” he said.
He added: “Case numbers are halving every ten days so it is reasonable that in 20 days’ time it could be down to 400, but because of the new variant being more transmissible we want to open schools on a phased basis.
“We have to consult with unions and parents groups and students, but we are reasonably confident that by mid-February we will be down to case numbers that were at the same level as when schools fully reopened last September.”Tags: