Keeping schools open after they were closed because of the Covid-19 pandemic is a key priority for the conservative government, Education Minister Niki Kerameus has said.
“Our priority is opening our schools, but we are always vigilant about your health and the wider impact on public health,” Kermeus said during a visit at a middle school in the northern Athens suburb of Nea Ionia on Monday.
Monday was the first day of face-to-face teaching for the country’s middle and high schools after almost two-and-a-half months, except for the region of Attica where due to the high number of coronavirus cases only middle schools resumed teaching.
The conservative minister stressed the importance of observing precautionary measures, including wearing masks to mitigate the risk and impact of the pandemic.
Kerameus also called on teachers and students over 16 to sign up for free coronavirus testing available via edu.testing.gov.gr.
Testing is seen as a critical tool to gauge the epidemiological risk associated with the reopening of schools.
Authorities on Sunday announced 484 new coronavirus infections and 17 deaths.
In response to health experts’ recommendations, the government announced a tightening of measures on Friday in the areas hardest hit by the coronavirus, including restrictions on retail trade and movement in so-called “red areas” with a high viral load.