Colleges will not require students to be vaccinated against C0vid-19 to return to accessing campuses next month.
While vaccination is not mandatory for students to access campuses, it will be required in order to access ondoor canteens or bars in line with public health rules.
This comes as third-level institutions confirmed that they will be encouraging all students to take up vaccination offers to avail of the “full college experience” according to the Irish Times.
This comes as several colleges in the United States have made vaccination mandatory for students returning to class next month.
On the back of this, some experts have said there is no reason that Ireland should not take this approach.
“I don’t see how any university can expect to return to campus as normal. It’s not going to be like that. This will be a gradual process,” Dr Tomas Ryan said.
“We are going to have to see how the pandemic develops, but I think it’s perfectly reasonable to have mandatory vaccination for students wishing to participate in campus activities. It makes perfect sense.”
But Irish college students will not have to contend with that requirement ahead of their return next month.
There was a push, however, to make vaccines mandatory for students returning next month, but there was a belief that this may prove to be ‘divisive’ according to the Irish Times.
This move may make access to learning troublesome for those unable to take the vaccine, and may also see a number of legal challenges arise.
Colleges, although, are committed to collaborate with the HSE to ensure rapid access to testing and vaccination, including on-site provision in some cases.
Of course, it was announced just last week that students were to make their return to campuses next with on-site lectures and tutorials.
But even with that in mind, it has been confirmed that colleges are to continue with streaming of lectures going forward as was the case last year.
Importantly, the colleges have stressed that “reasonable accommodation” would be made for any member of the research or learning community for whom vaccination is medically contravened.