School and COVID-19


The Department of Education published COVID-19 response plans for primary and special schools and post primary schools to reduce the risk of infection in schools.

The specific protective measures in schools such as staggered breaks and mask wearing are no longer be in place. However, infection prevention and control measures continue, including ventilation, hygiene measures and advice to stay at home if symptomatic.

The Department provides advice and resources for parents and students to support them during COVID-19.

If your child has any symptoms of COVID-19 they should stay home while they have symptoms and for at least 48 after the symptoms have gone. Not everyone is required to do an antigen test. It is usually OK to send your child to school if they only have nasal symptoms, such as a runny nose or a sneeze, but otherwise feel well. You can find out more about when it's OK to send you child to school and the testing requirement for COVID-19.

If your child has a confirmed COVID-19 infection, they should isolate at home for 7 days. Children aged 9 and over may also have to wear a mask.

Staying safe at school

Hand washing and hygiene at school

Staff and students should maintain hand hygiene throughout the school day.

Wash basins and hand sanitiser can be used. However, young children should not have independent use of alcohol gel containers.

Students and staff should wash hands:

  • When you arrive at school
  • Before eating or drinking
  • After using the toilet
  • After playing outdoors
  • When your hands are physically dirty
  • When you cough or sneeze
  • Moving between classes for post-primary students

Read more on control measures for reopening schools safely (pdf) on

The Department has published practical steps on ventilation in schools (pdf) and carbon dioxide monitors will be distributed to schools.

Your child should not attend school if they are displaying any symptoms of COVID-19

Further information

You can find out more about the supports for parents and students during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Page edited: 24 November 2022