Two third-level institutions in Dublin have decided to make changes to their schedules in reaction to the coronavirus.

Dublin City University has postponed indefinitely Spring graduation ceremonies that were due to take place later this month.

In a letter to graduates, DCU President Professor Brian MacCraith said the decision had been taken after careful consideration.

He said the event would have involved significant travel for graduates and their families, and that this was not in the best interests of all concerned.

Prof MacCraith said the university was developing contingency plans, including changes in the delivery and assessment of academic programmes over the coming weeks and months.

Meanwhile, from tomorrow morning all lectures at Trinity College Dublin will be delivered online for the rest of the semester rather than physically in a lecture hall.

However, tutorials, seminars and laboratory practicals will all continue to be given in the usual fashion while using social distancing protocols.

TCD said this will allow the institution to maintain continuity of teaching and learning, while minimising the need to bring together students in large groups.

In addition, TCD has closed the Book of Kells exhibition and Old Library, the Science Gallery and the Douglas Hyde Gallery.

Notices of these closures will be posted online and at the main entrances to the college.

TCD said: "Both of these measures are being taken in the interests of the health and well-being of our students and staff and to decrease any potential impacts on the larger community."

School closures

The Department of Education has said that any decision on school closures will be made on public health grounds and that there is no such advice at this point.

In a statement, it said that it is liaising closely with the Department of Health on a continuing basis.

It reiterated that it is essential that any decisions regarding responses to Covid-19 are proportionate, necessary and based on specific public health advice and that no other response is appropriate.

Public health professionals will contact schools if there is any action to be taken, the department said, and schools should not take unilateral action.

The department said it is deeply conscious of the significance of decisions concerning school closures, and the potential impact any such decisions would have on parents, families and the wider community.

It has advised that this is an evolving situation and the health advice is being updated on a daily basis.