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Ireland has announced its “Back to Campus” plans for the upcoming academic year. All Irish HEIs have joined forces in providing aligned Covid-19 guidelines for incoming students. Public health of students, staff and the wider community is an overarching priority underlining provision of information related to incoming international travel, mental health, and other aspects of student life.
Straightforward Guidelines for international arrivals have been provided for incoming students and “Greet & Transfer” service was organised for international students arriving at Dublin Airport from 1 August with dedicated desks in the airport arrival halls. Incoming students will be greeted by welcome teams who will coordinate the transport from the airport to their residencies for free.
Advice on mental health including information on common mental health issues, coping mechanisms, support and services during Covid-19 and information and advice for friends and family has been provided as well as the emergency phone number. Due to an increased number of isolated racist incidents, Irish Network Against Racism has provided the Racist Incident Reporting System which can be used by international students.
Simon Harris, Ireland’s Minister for Higher Education has stressed a need to “return safely on-campus in September. The plan for a safe return to campus includes the return of lectures, with some modifications to overall numbers and specific mitigation measures”, aiming to getting all students and staff back on campus.