Millions of students from France, Belgium, Britain and other European countries returned to schools on Tuesday, which had to be completely reorganized to avoid the spread of the corona-virus.
Although the number of infected people has started to increase again almost everywhere in Europe, the authorities want to prevent schools from becoming a breeding ground for the coronavirus epidemic at any cost.
In France, 12.4 million students of all grades started school on Tuesday, and the government hopes to start the school year “as normally as possible”, following very precise instructions, such as the mandatory wearing of masks for teachers and students over the age of 11, including and outdoors.
In some countries, children will take turns going out to avoid crowds in the hallways. That is the case in Greece, where the beginning of the school year, planned for September 7, could be postponed.
In Great Britain, parents are not advised to stay in school, and in London, buses specialize only in transporting students. Authorities also encourage children to walk or bike to school.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez assessed that schools are safer than other places, although there is no zero risk of an epidemic. School starts between September 4 and 15, depending on the region of the country, and children older than six will have to wear masks all the time.
Students in Belgium have also returned to school, and Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes believes that it is very important that children can continue with “normal school life or as normal as possible.”
The British government believes that the benefits of returning to school are more important than the potential risks, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been trying for days to convince both children and parents.
In Italy, the school year begins on September 14 and causes great concern, so that three regions in the south of the country have postponed the beginning of classes for the end of September.
All measures are envisaged, from distancing, wearing masks to arriving at school at different times, and the government has bought two and a half million individual benches to guarantee a safe distance between students.