College prepares for change in case of Level 3 restrictions

Provost Prendergast updated students in an email this afternoon

Trinity is reviewing additional measures to “limit congregation” in light of expectations that Dublin will move to Level 3 restrictions under the government’s new Covid-19 framework.

According to RTÉ this afternoon, the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) is expected to recommend that third level institutions in Dublin should offer tuition online as much as possible.

This recommendation is expected to come alongside the introduction of Level 3 restrictions of the government’s new “Framework for Restrictive Measures in Response to Covid-19”. 

Following expectations that Dublin will move to Level 3 restrictions, Provost Patrick Prendergast addressed students in an email earlier today. Although there is no clear outline that Level 3 restrictions should change the way College plans to operate, Prendergast reassured students that additional measures to “limit congregation” are currently under review.

“We will wait for the Government announcement and we will then update you as soon as possible,” Prendergast said.

Finally, he thanked students for playing their part in reducing the spread of Covid-19, adding that he was “aware of the many sacrifices [they] currently have to make in the interest of public health.”

Prendergast promised an update within a few hours of the government announcement, if it is to be made.

Under the Level 3 restrictions in the government’s ranking system, it is stated that further, higher and adult education are to “escalate all appropriate protective measures and limit congregation as far as possible”.

Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris told RTÉ News that a huge amount of work has been done to make it safe for students to return to third level campuses, but that further measures may be taken, particularly in Dublin. 

“Without getting ahead of NPHET recommendations… I would draw your attention to the fact that it’s the balance between what you do on-site and what you do online,” Minister Harris said. 

NPHET is meeting this afternoon and is expected to make the recommendation that more restrictions be placed on Dublin, which will be considered by the new Covid-19 oversight group this afternoon.

According to RTÉ, there are “strong indications” that a decision to tighten restrictions on the capital could be made by Cabinet tomorrow. 

The entire country currently remains under level 2 of the five level system, with extra restrictions on wet pubs and a further emphasis on limiting your social contacts. 

People living in Dublin have been asked not to travel outside of the country unless absolutely necessary.

Classes in Trinity are expected to resume on September 28 for continuing students, with many students returning to College for the first time since March 12. Freshers’ Week will run alongside the first week of classes for continuing students, with classes for incoming students to begin on October 5.

Shannon Connolly

Shannon Connolly is the Editor-in-Chief of the 69th volume Trinity News, and a Senior Sophister student of English Literature and Philosophy. She previously served as Deputy Editor, News Editor and Assistant News Editor.

Audrey Brown

Audrey Brown is a Senior Fresher English Studies student, and the Deputy News Editor of Trinity News.