It is set to be agreed at a Cabinet meeting this afternoon that schools are to remain closed until January 11 under plans to tackle the continuously increasing number of Covid-19 cases.
Primary and secondary schools had been due to reopen on Wednesday, January 6 but the Irish National Teachers' Organisation (INTO) had called for schools to stay closed until January 11 at the earliest.
Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, its general secretary John Boyle said his members have "worked miracles" to keep schools safe but that we are now at an "alarming rate" of infection in the community.
The Cabinet is currently meeting to discuss further restrictions to prevent the spread of Covid-19, including a ban on all household visits, the closure of non-essential retail and a 5km limit on travel.
It is the second Cabinet meeting in three days that was called amid growing concern around case numbers and an increase in people being admitted to hospital with the virus.
The Cabinet is expected to agree to a move to full Level 5 restrictions.
Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, told RTÉ News this afternoon that the government will do everything it can to keep people safe.
“I think it’s important to say to the people of this country that we’re going to do everything that we possibly can to keep each other safe. We’ve had an extraordinary year really and an extraordinary number of months.
“What we’ve seen during that period of time is that together we always as a people have put each other’s health and lives first and we need to continue with that,” he said.