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Return from schools will see more teachers and extensive cleaning

The plan to reopen schools will provide additional teachers, extended cleaning regimes and personal protective equipment, said Tanaiste Leo Varadkar.

The Department of Education has finalized the details in the planning document before bringing it to the cabinet on Monday.

The government said its priority is to see the full reopening of schools in late August.

Mr. Varadkar told the RTE’s the Week in Politics program on Sunday that he has read the comprehensive document in recent days and is confident that students and teachers will return by the end of next month.

Additional teachers are involved, cleaning regimes are needed, and there are a variety of practices and procedures that can arise if coronavirus is present in schoolsLeo Varadkar on the school’s planning document

He said: “The government’s plan is ready, it will go to the cabinet tomorrow.

“It means a very large investment in changes to schools and school buildings.

“It’s about additional teachers, it’s about cleaning regimes, and it’s about all kinds of practices and procedures that can occur when there is coronavirus in schools.

“And also special arrangements for, for example, teachers with a chronic illness. A lot of work has been put into it. There has been much consultation with the unions. ‘

Mr Varadkar also admitted that he will follow plans to “sharpen” people traveling to Ireland from countries not on the “green list”.

He said, “We are also going to look at other measures, such as the ability to require people to have evidence of a negative (Covid) test before traveling from some countries.”

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The ‘green list’ includes 15 countries (PA)

He expressed concern that holidaymakers from Northern Ireland are allowed to travel to 59 countries without quarantining on their return, while the republic’s “green list” has only 15 countries.

Earlier this week, Stormont’s health minister, Robin Swann, asked his cross-border counterpart to consider new data sharing laws and agreements to help track international travelers arriving on the island.

However, Mr Varadkar said that the Northern Ireland Executive is “very clear” that he does not want his travel arrangements on an island alone.

He said this will be one of the issues discussed at this week’s North-South Cabinet meeting in Dublin.

He added: “Certainly in all the conversations I had with the Prime Minister (Arlene Foster) and everything she has since said, it was very clear that in the field of travel they want to stay with the common travel area with Britain and won’t limit travel between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. “

Meanwhile, Chancellor of the Exchequer Paschal Donohoe has taken further action to defend the government’s decision not to lower the VAT rate for tourism, despite continued calls from hospitality companies.

Last week, the government unveiled a € 7 billion plan to boost the economy.

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Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said lowering the standard VAT rate was more effective (Julien Behal / PA)

Donohoe said lowering the standard VAT rate from 23% to 21% will impact more businesses and consumers.

However, a number of companies said this will not drive demand for companies

Mr. Donohoe said, “I think what is likely to accelerate the recovery in consumer confidence later in the year is where we are with our public health, where we are with our skills and where we are with employers and people to see later in the year and come back to the office next year.

“It is the case that we have many retailers that are still very profitable, and in some cases this profitability has been enhanced by what happened to shopping patterns during the earlier phase of this disease. For those retailers that are very profitable, I definitely want the VAT reductions to be passed on. ”

Donohoe told Newstalk that some retailers may choose to implement a price cut or use the VAT cut to retain their employees.