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Extension to remote learning for schoolchildren as ‘Stay at Home’ message becomes law in NI

Schoolchildren across Northern Ireland will enter an “extended period of remote learning” the Executive have tonight (Monday) confirmed.

The Executive met this evening to discuss the concerning progression of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last month the Executive moved ahead of other jurisdictions to make an intervention that saw the introduction of strict, wide-ranging measures from December 26 for a period of six weeks, and tonight discussed what additional measures are necessary given the very high levels of virus transmission within the community and the impending pressure on the hospital system from the large numbers of cases.

The Executive agreed that it will move to put staying at home into regulations and a paper will be brought to the Executive tomorrow (Tuesday) setting out the detail, including restrictions on travel.

Ministers have also indicated that there will be an extended period of remote learning for schools and the Education Minister will bring forward a paper tomorrow on this issue.

The Executive will consider further advice from the Department of Health setting out the public health situation and future implications, and Ministers will update the Assembly on Wednesday on the decisions they reach at tomorrow’s meeting.

Earlier this evening, Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the announcement that all schools and colleges will close to most pupils and switch to remote learning until the middle of February.

It is part of a national lockdown in England akin the original lockdown in March across the UK.

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