Entire schools may not need to close if there's an outbreak of COVID in the classroom under the government's new back to school plan.

Outbreaks will be handled individually by a COVID officer within the school following public health guidelines.

Children from junior infants to second class won't have to observe social distancing and all others will have to be spaced a metre from their classmates.

375 million euro in funding has been made available including money to recruit more than 1,000 teachers to reduce class sizes.

Money has also been made available for minor works for schools to adapt their classrooms to allow capacity.

Taoiseach Michael Martin says it's a major logistical challenge.

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