COVID 19: Activities in schools in the new year under new regulations
Under new regulations from the Minister of Health, acting on proposals from the Chief Epidemiologist, some relaxations will be made in the measures against Covid-19 applying in schools and universities in the new year. Amongst other things, it will be possible to resume classroom teaching in all upper senior schools, including those operating under a credit-unit system. In the universities, groups of up to 50 students will be able to occupy in the same area, while mixing of groups will remain prohibited. The regulations are intended to remain in force until 28 February 2021, but may be reviewed before then as necessary.
Pre-schools: Up to 20 staff may occupy the same area, and may move between groups. Where it is not possible to ensure a 2-metre social distance indoors, they must use face-masks.
Junior schools (compulsory level, to age 16): Up to 20 staff may occupy the same area, and may move between groups. Where it is not possible to ensure a 2-metre social distance indoors, they must use face-masks. In shared areas, including canteens, the number restrictions may be ignored, providing that staff use face-masks. These rules will also apply to after-school activity centres, organised sports events, youth activities and leisure activities, and to the operations of social centres.
Upper-secondary schools (age 17-20): Up to 30 pupils and staff may occupy the same area. Pupils may move between groups. Where it is not possible to ensure a 2-metre social distance, pupils and staff must use face-masks. The same rules apply to folk high schools, youth centres and upper-secondary educational schemes.
Universities: Up to 50 students and staff may occupy each teaching or study area. Mixing between these groups of students will not be permitted, though staff may move between groups. Where it is not possible to ensure a 2-metre social distance, students and staff must use face-masks.
Music teaching: Music lessons for children in pre-schools and junior school are permitted, observing the same rules as apply to each school level respectively. For older pupils, the same restrictions will apply to music lessons as to upper-secondary schools.
In his memorandum to the Minister of Health, the Chief Epidemiologist pointed out that the stage has been reached when the pandemic has been brought under reasonable control; nevertheless developments over the past few days suggest that it may be on the increase. In the light of this, the situation may be rather different at the beginning of the new school term in January, which may entail a revision of the regulations. While the regulations are designed for the period 1 January – 28 February, it must be borne in mind that changes may have to be made earlier if necessary.