Ireland is progressing with measures to control the coronavirus. Daily cases, numbers in hospital and intensive care admissions are declining since the peak in January. The vaccine rollout programme is advancing and Ireland is on course to offer a vaccination to 80% of adults by the end June. International students can avail of welfare services, covid health care provision and vaccinations at no extra cost. Students who are unable to work as a result of the pandemic receive financial support of up to €350 per weekly from the Irish government.
Vaccine Rollout Programme
This is a testing time for international students. We strongly encourage schools to have clear and open communication channels with their students. They may need support and are likely to be uncertain of where to find the correct information.
Department of Education and Skills leaflet for Students (Translated in 12 languages)
The welfare of our students has to be of uppermost concern: their physical and mental health, their living conditions, their academic progress, their general wellbeing in what is a foreign country in lockdown.
Health Care Provision
Measures have been put in place to ensure the availability of health care services for international students. All international students studying in Ireland can receive public health services for the testing and treatment of the Covid-19 virus. These services are being provided free of charge.
A special COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of up to €350 per week is available to any international student who lost their job as a result of the outbreak. For those international students in Ireland who had not yet engaged in employment while in the State, and are in need of assistance, the Government is providing financial supports under an Exceptional Needs Payments scheme.
There are rental laws to protect tenants economically affected by COVID-19, who have fallen into rent arrears and are at risk of losing their tenancy. These protections include a rent freeze and a 90-day notice period when ending a tenancy. They became available on 2 August 2020 and now run until 12 July 2021, following changes and extensions brought in under subsequent legislation. Landlords and tenants must follow certain steps to access these protections, see Rent arrears due to the financial impact of COVID-19 below.
Education Provision for current international students
MEI schools and colleges have immediately set about establishing online teaching platforms to enable course completion. These platforms are continuing to develop and are likely to form a key component of a blended learning (a combination of online and classroom tuition), as a long term part of the English Language Teaching infrastructure in Ireland.