The Department of Health has reported 1,293 new cases of Covid-19.
There are 382 people in hospital who have tested positive for the disease, a rise of 35 since yesterday. Of these, 61 are in intensive care, an increase of one overnight.
The Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said: “As many children return to classrooms across the country today, it is important to highlight to both children and their parents that considerable preparations have been made across the country to reopen schools safely.
“Our data clearly shows that, to date, the school environment was not a major source of disease transmission.
“In order to go back to school as safely as possible, my advice to children is to wash your hands or use hand sanitiser regularly and follow the protocols operating in your school.”
Earlier, Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath said that Covid-19 restrictions will begin to unwind from next week.
He was speaking on his way into a key Cabinet committee meeting.
Also today, Minister for Arts and Culture Catherine Martin said she is optimistic about the chances of live indoor events returning on a phased basis from early September.
It comes as Professor Philip Nolan said schools are not major sites of transmission of Covid-19, where effective mitigation measures are in place.
The Chair of the Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group added that school openings and closures to date in Ireland have had minimal effect on incidence in the whole population and in children and adolescents of school-going age.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization described a rise in Covid-19 transmission rates across Europe over the last two weeks, combined with low levels of vaccination in some countries, as “deeply worrying”.
Health Service Executive CEO Paul Reid said there were 14,000 vaccinations administered over the weekend at walk-in clinics.
In a post on Twitter, he said that overall 134,000 people have received a vaccine in walk-in centres since they opened.
Mr Reid said 88% of adults have now been fully vaccinated and a total of 6.8 million vaccines have been administered so far.
Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, shared a graphic on social media showing that 80.3% of people aged 12 and over have been fully vaccinated.