NEWS

Measures for schools to be specified Monday

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Amid concerns by epidemiologists about a second wave of the pandemic, authorities are on standby to impose new restrictions if necessary with the upcoming reopening of schools a key concern.

The Education Ministry is on Monday expected to specify the measures to apply when Greek schools reopen on September 7 to ensure that they are as protected as possible from the spread of Covid-19. 

The committee of infectious disease experts advising the government finalized its proposals last week and the ministry has been adapting them to the school environment. It remains to be seen what this involves. Interior Minister Takis Theodorikakos said last week that the state will provide local authorities with adequate face masks to equip all schools. He added that 9,500 additional cleaners would be hired as sanitation is a greater priority. 

Education Minister Niki Kerameus has already made it clear that parents and children will be given leaflets with instructions on the proper use of face masks. Kerameus has also said that the first lesson in schools will be about the coronavirus and the measures necessary to combat its spread. 

In the event of an outbreak in school, the plan is for the department in question to be closed, not the entire school, and for lessons to revert to distance learning as was the case during the lockdown. 

According to Panagiotis Gargalianos, the president of the Hellenic Society for Infectious Diseases, the health protocols for schools are being repeatedly modified in line with the evolution of the pandemic with the ultimate goal of avoiding the closure of schools in the event that infections are traced. 

As regards universities, and the usual September exam period, Kerameus has said it will be at the discretion of individual universities to decide whether the exams should be conducted on site or online as was the case with the summer’s university entrance tests.