European schools get ready to reopen despite concern about pupils spreading Covid-19

May 2, 2020 by

Germany’s top coronavirus expert says children play as big a role as adults in spread

German School of Fremont - Home

More countries across Europe are preparing to reopen schools in the coming weeks despite conflicting advice from scientists, some of whom caution against underestimating children’s potential to spread the coronavirus.

Some schools and nurseries in Denmark and Norway have already reopened, and grandparents in Switzerland are allowed to hug grandchildren under 10, following a ruling by the health ministry’s head of infectious diseases that it is safe to do so.

France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, has gone against the advice of the government’s scientific committee by announcing that creches and primary and nursery schools will reopen progressively from 11 May.

Playgrounds began reopening in Germany on Friday and pupils aged 11 and 12 are due to return to school in a staggered system starting next week. Classes will be split in two and the groups will alternate between lessons at school and at home.

Hygiene measures being adopted across Europe include strict handwashing and disinfection regimes, physical distancing and the demarcation of playgrounds into zones to ensure pupils do not mix more than necessary. Children will have to file out of classrooms at different times to maintain physical distancing.

Germany has temporarily removed sport and music lessons from the curriculum because they are considered too great a risk, but older pupils already returned to sit exams last month. Nurseries will remain closed for all children, except those of key workers, for the time being.

French lower secondary schools may only return in areas where the virus is not widely circulating. All ball games and contact sports will be banned and objects touched by more than one pupil must be disinfected. Classes will be staggered and made up of a maximum of 15 pupils, and breaks will held in shifts to avoid overcrowding in corridors and playgrounds.

Source: European schools get ready to reopen despite concern about pupils spreading Covid-19 | World news | The Guardian

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