Colleges will remain closed until at least April 19 to help contain the spread of the coronavirus, the government announced this afternoon.
Minister for Education Joe McHugh confirmed earlier that the shutdown of universities, colleges and schools was to extend beyond the initial March 29 date. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced this afternoon that colleges will not open until at least Monday April 20.
The extension to the shutdown of higher level institutions accompanied a raft of new measures to contain the spread of the virus, including limiting gatherings to four people and the closure of non-essential retail.
Announcing the new measures today, Varadkar said: “These are unprecedented actions for an unprecedented time.” He added: “We’re in this for the long haul and this could go on for weeks.”
Varadkar announced the closure of schools, colleges and universities due to the spread of the coronavirus in a media statement from Washington on March 12.
The provost circulated an email to all staff and students confirming Trinity’s closure and said that while the government was closing all colleges until March 29, “it would be wise to allow for the possibility of a longer closure”.
Campus is currently closed to all undergraduate students with the exception of those who live on-campus, following the government’s decision to close schools, universities, and cultural institutions.
Access for staff is to continue, while postgraduate students who require access to the campus in order to engage in “critical research projects” are to be admitted if they show they have received permission through email from their supervisors.