Level 5 restrictions to be extended this afternoon

Level 5 restrictions will be extended until April 5th this afternoon with home building remaining shut for another month.

While more than 300,000 students will return to the classroom next Monday.

Last night the cabinet sub-committee on COVID agreed to extend Level 5 restrictions until at least April 5th when there will be a review.

The only changes will be the re-opening of schools and childcare.

Leaving Cert students, junior infants, senior infants, 1st and 2nd class will return to the classroom next Monday, March 1st.

5th years and the remainder of primary students will be back on March 15th.

The rest of secondary school students won't be back until after Easter, on the 12th of April.

Childcare will return on a staggered basis with those on the ECCE scheme being back from March 8th and all others on March 29th.

There will be no re-opening for construction next month, which some Ministers believe will lead to a housing hangover later this year.

A revised living with COVID document released later will be "nothing like" the UK's according to a cabinet source.

It won't provide dates beyond April for when parts of the economy can re-open, with fears in some parts of government that it lacks a bit of hope.

There will also be an update given on the timeline for vaccinations and a review of the priority access list which is likely to lead to people with certain underlying conditions being moved up the list.

SD