There are two exceptions to the school closures.
New restrictions have been unveiled by the Government to contain the spread of Covid 19 and will remain in place until at least the end of January.
All schools are to remain closed, with an exception for leaving cert students, who will attend classes three days a week.
Special education should remain open with protections in place.
While childcare services will close generally, they can remain open for vulnerable children and children of frontline workers.
All construction, with some exceptions must cease until January 31st.
Announcing the measures, Taoiseach Michael Martin says the challenge facing Irish people is stark:
Education Minister Norma Foley says the decision to close the schools is being taken to reduce the movement of over 1 million people:
Director General of the Construction Industry Federation, Coolderry's Tom Parlon estimates one third of the workforce will be affected.
He says the short notice will be a headache for site managers:
The government's confirmed 'click and collect' from non-essential retail outlets should no longer be permitted with immediate effect.
However, existing orders may be collected.
Click and deliver will continue to be permitted.
The planned cuts to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment will not go ahead next month.
The rates had been due to fall for some people from February 1st, but Tánaiste Leo Varadkar says that won't happen:
Minister @HHumphreysFG confirms that the #COVID19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment Rates will remain in place until March 31st— Department of Social Protection (@welfare_ie) January 6, 2021
Read more here: https://t.co/VE5L9P5N8W#COVID19ireland #PUP pic.twitter.com/ucbltbh3Zu
UK passengers arriving into Ireland will have to provide a negative Covid-19 test at airports and ferry terminals from Saturday.
The PCR test must have been acquired within 72 hours of travelling.
The travel ban with the UK has also been extended until midnight on Friday.
Transport Minister Eamon Ryan says those arriving who break the new rules will be penalised: