Physical classes in schools resumed as of February 8

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Physical classes in the Romanian schools will be resumed as of February 8, political sources told mass media after the meeting held at Cotroceni Palace attended by President Klaus Iohannis, PM Florin Citu, Health minister Vlad Voiculescu, Education minister Sorin Cimpeanu, the Head of the Emergency Situations Department, Raed Arafat and the manager of the National Center for Surveillance and Control of Communicable Diseases, doctor Adriana Pistol.

The re-opening of schools is due at the beginning of the second semester of the school year, and will be done in accordance with the infection rate in each locality and depending on more scenarios based on the available epidemiological statistics.

The head of stated had announced since mid-January that most schools will re-open as of February 8, depending on the rate of infection in each locality and that a final decision will be taken on February 2.

At the end of the meeting today, President Iohannis has made the official announcement, saying the decision to resume physical classes had been unanimously taken and arguing that most EU countries are opening schools.

“I discussed with the Prime Minister and the Education and Health ministers an extremely important topic for millions of Romanians: what will happen to the schools in Romania starting from the second semester. No, we haven’t got rid of the pandemic yet, we must still wear face masks, to keep the social distancing, but in the past weeks the incidence of the epidemic has slightly decreased. As experts would say, the trend is downward. We obviously looked at other countries in Europe. Most of the EU states are opening schools. There are only three countries that will keep their schools closed for now. So, we have unanimously decided: most of the pupils will attend physical classes as of Monday”, President Iohannis stated.

The head of state  has though warned that there must by strict rules in place for each school. “We want classes to be carried out in safe conditions. In the localities with few Covid cases, in the green scenario, all pupils will go to school, from kindergarten to high school. Under the yellow scenario, the pre-school children, the pupils in the elementary school (1st to 4th grade) will go to school, as well as the 8th graders and the 12th graders. In the red scenario, only kindergarten kids and the pupils in the elementary school will go to school, the rest will attend online classes. If a locality is under quarantine, all pupils will stay home.”

Iohannis added that there are more details to be clarified, such as how one checks if a pupils is sick or not, what is the procedure, on how many Covid cases the school will close, etc. “All these will be quickly cleared up. Therefore, get the children ready for school”, the President concluded.

The three scenarios for resuming physical classes:

  • green scenario (an infection rate ranging from 0 to 1.5 per 1,000 inhabitants) – physical classes to be resumed in all schools;
  • yellow scenario (an infection rate ranging from 1.5 to 3/1,000) -kindergarten kids, pupils from the elementary school and 8th and 12th graders who have national exams this year will be the ones to physically go to school, the rest of the grades will continue to attend online classes;
  • red scenario (an infection rate over 3/1,000)- only kindergartens and elementary schools will remain open for some time.

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