Universities across Ireland have agreed to adopt the enhanced public protection measures which were previously applied solely on Dublin. Per these guidelines, universities will minimise on-campus teaching, where possible and suspend all society or club activities for the “next 2-3 weeks”, according to the Irish Universities Association (IUA).

This move is in reaction to an announcement from Simon Harris earlier today that all higher education institutions across the country would move lectures online, where possible, for the coming two weeks.

Harris acknowledged that this news would be upsetting for students: “This is disappointing, I know, but absolutely necessary if we are to stop the spread of this virus. We must do everything possible over the next few weeks to stop its spread and give students the best chance of resuming on-site activity. Please stay safe and hold firm.”

Universities have agreed to “use discretion” when deciding between scheduling online or in-person teaching activities. The priority of on-campus teaching will be given to learning which cannot take place by means of distanced learning.

University libraries will remain open with “strict social distancing protocols and entry registration” in place. Staff and students will however be asked to enhance their wearing of protective equipment such as face-masks “in certain settings”.

Society and Club events due to take place on campuses across the country have now been “suspended until further notice” but university-based research will continue to operate “as normal” across Ireland during this period.

Hugh Dooley – News Editor