Ireland has not yet been given a date for when schools will re-open - but other countries are making slow moves
THE question of when to re-open schools is being answered differently depending on each country.
Those that have most successfully contained the spread of the virus have already begun taking the first cautious steps in allowing children back to school, though with the situation being closely monitored and social distancing measures in place.
Here, the Government has not provided a date for schools returning, with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar saying he did not want to raise hopes and have to dash them.
It has also been suggested school days might have to be staggered when the time does come. Ireland is among the countries with the strictest school lockdowns according to a European Commission, Eurydice Network report.
Here's what other countries have been planning around school re-openings so far:
In Germany, students who are sitting their leaving exams will be back on May 4. They are being given priority ahead of junior classes.
Austria presented its exit strategy from lockdown measures in the first week of April. Schools are due to remain closed there until at least the middle of May, though final exams will go ahead.
In Denmark, restrictions started to be lifted on April 15 and schools and nurseries have re-opened for children up to the age of 11.
Some classes are being given outdoors to comply with social distancing measures.
Government regulations mean children must be put in small groups, are able to wash their hands on arrival and every two hours.
Sinks, toilet seats and door handles must be disinfected twice every day.
However, schools for older children may remain closed until the second week of May.
Norway, which says it has the virus under control, started re-opening schools this week after a month-long closure that began on March 12.
Its authorities have said the move was possible because children are less at risk from the infection.
However, parents have expressed concern.
A poll by Norwegian broadcaster NRK showed 24pc of parents didn’t want their children back in pre-school and 13pc were unsure.
Primary school children will begin to return on April 27.
Other countries are taking a more cautious approach. Schools in Malta and Portugal will remain closed for the summer.
In France, re-opening schools has been given high priority in plans to begin to ease restrictions from May 11, however they depend on progress in battling the virus.
French President Emmanuel Macron said universities will not open before the summer.
Spain has been among the countries hardest hit with more than 20,000 deaths and more than 200,000 cases.
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said on Sunday children would be allowed time outside again on April 27. However, the re-opening of schools is still some way off.
Speculation about return dates next month in the UK, which has also been hit hard by the virus, has led to concern from teachers.
But on Sunday, England’s Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said he could not give a date and schools will only re-open based on scientific advice.
In China schools began to reopen at the end of March, with children wearing masks and social distancing being observed.
The country is set for a deep recession this year that will eclipse the worst seen in the financial crisis causing mass unemployment and deep scarring that will last for years, new Government forecasts show.
Schools and school buses are not designed for social distancing, a principals' leader said as a national conversation gets under way over when it will be safe for teachers and pupils to return to classrooms.