Trinity College Dublin is reopening to the public on Friday as the university also prepares to return to full size lectures on November 1.
he 429-year-old city centre campus is welcoming back visitors for the first time since March 2020.
Meanwhile, lectures will operate at full capacity and social distancing rules in spaces such as the library, are being lifted for the second half of the term.
After an 18 month closure due to Covid, Trinity authorities took a cautious, two-stage approach to reopening the campus for this academic year.
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Only very limited activity has been allowed since September 6, with a cap on lecture sizes and one-metre social distancing rules applying in lectures, lab, tutorials and other indoor spaces such as the library.
The campus, a popular spot for Dubliners and visitors alike, also continued to be out of bounds to the general public.
The approach to reopening was more conservative than in other colleges, which Trinity attributed to the compact nature of its campus and its many older buildings with rooms and lecture theatres that are not very large.
However, it provoked student protests, including demands for a partial return of fees.
Trinity authorities said they would review the situation for the second-half of the term, beginning November 1, taking account of the public health situation.
Trinity’s Living with Covid Oversight Group met today to discuss the impact of yesterday’s Govermment decision on its re-opening plans and issued an email to staff and students advising of a significant relaxation in restrictions.
While the cap on lecture sizes and the one metre social distancing rules in indoor learning spaces are being lifted, masks will continue to be required indoors.
The Library will remove social distancing and its booking system on Friday and work on reinstating its 2,300 seats has started with a view to restoring full capacity in time for student mid-term Reading Week next week.
With Government restrictions on hospitality staying in place for several months, entrance to Trinity’s popular Buttery will continue to require proof of vaccination and photo ID, but can now accommodate a maximum of 10 adults.