SIPTU representatives have called for clarity concerning Covid-19 guidelines for the third level education sector and for the continuation of online learning until the Christmas break. SIPTU Education Sector Organiser, Karl Byrne, said: “On foot of the concerns being raised by NPHET recommendations and the Covid-19 outbreaks being experienced in the third level institutions in other countries it is time for the Government to make a clear decision concerning the sector that will bring us up to the Christmas break. At the present time the uncertainty and shifting approaches are damaging to third level workers and students. “The SIPTU Education Sector is therefore calling for the continuation of online teaching and learning until the Christmas break. We contend this will relieve excessive stress levels on both staff and students and provide much needed clarity for the sector. We also believe this approach is in the best interests of the wider fight against the spread of Covid-19 in the community. Our members in the sector have endured an extremely tense summer preparing for the current academic year. The constant uncertainty around the application of public health advice has exacerbated their many genuine concerns. We can no longer just deal with this in two to three-week blocks. What is required is a medium to long term plan for the sector.”