Spanish pupils to wear face masks in class next year

by Deborah Cater
Pulils will wear face masks when return to school in September

MADRID – The Spanish government proposes sub-regions also take preventive measures against the pandemic in the various educational centres next school year. Wearing face masks remains mandatory.

In addition to the face masks, students should continue to form bubbles and maintain physical distance. According to El País, this information was in a document from the Ministry of Education and that of Health Care sent to the regional sub-boards on Thursday.

Reduced distance between students

The biggest change is the physical distance will be reduced from 1.5 to 1.2 meters. The aim of this is to accommodate more students in the classrooms. This will allow all students from secondary schools and vocational education to again follow physical education. Primary school students have been going to school full-time since September.

Spain as an international example

The document confirms the measures ‘did work’ in this school year (ending June 21). This made Spain the international example of successful physical education during the various waves of the pandemic. The positive scenario of immunisation is also underlined. With several caveats:

  • ‘The vaccination of children and youth has yet to be defined’
  • ‘It cannot yet be ruled out that vaccinated people can no longer become infected – although less serious – and can still transmit the disease’
  • ‘The circulation of mutations and variants on the virus must be closely monitored’

The report concludes ‘the global dimension of the pandemic calls for a scenario of caution’.

cogesa expats

High safety standard

This leads to the conclusion the school year should start with a high safety standard. Moreover, this safety standard must be regularly ‘evaluated in the context of the current epidemiological situation and the progress of the vaccination campaign among children and young people’.

Ventilation

Classrooms, dining rooms and other educational areas must be continuously ventilated. The minimum applies here at the beginning and at the end of the class day, during breaks and between class hours. Pupils will again enter and leave the schools divided into groups at different times.

Limit contact between groups

During breaks and in the corridors, contact between different groups of students will be minimised, just like this year. Parents and guardians remain in contact with the institutions as much as possible by telephone, e-mail or other online means.

Further details of the plan will be discussed with healthcare representatives on Thursday and the education world on Friday. In addition, a meeting will be held on 19th May at which the Ministers of Education and Health, together with all their regional colleagues, will be present.

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