Service sector

Public transport, schools and health services: sectoral disruptions as the country returns to work

The country continues to return to work today after another ‘Covid Christmas’.

The BEC confirmed this week that around 18pc of the workforce is absent due to positive Covid tests or close contact with someone positive for Covid.

We present to you our breakdown of potential disruption across different industries as the country begins to return to work:


Schools must resume tomorrow, despite calls from unions for a “phased” reopening or a “case by case” reopening.

Education Minister Norma Foley said this morning that the waiver was not an option she was considering for the Education Department, that the same isolation and close contact rules would apply to teachers as well as the general population.


Rail services

Irish Rail has canceled a number of services over the coming week due to ‘Covid-19 and lack of close contact’.

The company has announced the temporary changes to the service that will run from Tuesday to Friday.

The services are: 6:12 a.m. to 7:19 a.m. Newbridge to Grand Canal Dock, 6:30 a.m. Carlow to Heuston and 7:35 a.m. Newbridge to Heuston.

The 8:17 a.m., 10:32 a.m., 12:35 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 5:52 p.m., 7:32 p.m. and 9:35 p.m. trips from Hazelhatch to Grand Canal Dock are also expected to suffer.

From 3:08 p.m. Newbridge to Pearse Street Station and 7:26 a.m., 9:11 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 4:28 p.m., 4:59 p.m., 6:40 p.m., 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. from Grand Canal Dock in Hazelhatch.

There will also be disruptions on the Grand Canal Dock from 1:30 p.m. and 6:17 p.m. in Newbridge.

Irish Rail called on passengers to practice social distancing when traveling and to avoid travel “unless your trip is for essential work, education, care or medical purposes”.

He also advised that, until further notice, those traveling by Intercity should book their travel in advance through this website, including holders of free passes or existing valid tickets.

“This will ensure that the available capacity is managed efficiently, providing rail customers with a safe and hygienic travel environment,” the company said.

Eireann Bus

Bus Eireann has canceled a number of trips across the country.

You can see a full list of their closures by region here.

School transport will resume its normal course tomorrow.

Dublin Bus

Dublin Bus has not posted any potential disruptions for the week.

Dublin Bus has been forced to cut a number of New Years Eve services due to Covid staff issues.


Luas hasn’t announced any changes to his regular schedule as of today.

Health services

The Saolta Hospital Group has reinstated restrictions on visitors and canceled all non-urgent procedures as the number of employees due to Covid soared to 1,200 this week – 11pc of the total.

The Western Country Hospital Group includes Roscommon University Hospital, Mayo University Hospital, Galway University Hospitals at UHG and Merlin Park, and Letterkenny University Hospital.

Saolta said that due to the growing number of Covid-19 cases in the community, access to visitors is now limited to exceptional circumstances and compassionate grounds only at these hospitals.

“Visits should be arranged in advance by family members or visitors, who should contact the relevant department or unit in advance,” the group said.

“We apologize to our patients and their families for taking this step to keep our hospitals safe. The situation will be constantly reviewed. “

All visitors must have identification, as well as proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid, or have an exemption.