France: secondary school students return to face-to-face classes at the beginning of gradual deconfinement

France: secondary school students return to face-to-face classes at the beginning of gradual deconfinement

High school students returned to classrooms this Monday in France, a week after their preschool and elementary school peers, after a month of closure aimed at curbing the third wave of coronavirus covid-19.

“Despite fears, the resumption of primary education has gone well”, was congratulated Minister of Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer in an interview with the Journal du Dimanche.

Due to the fact that the epidemiological situation remains delicate, a strict sanitary protocol will be maintained in the classrooms that foresees the immediate closure of a classroom when a positive case is detected among the students.

In addition, students must alternate between face-to-face and distance classes, so that the establishments do not exceed a capacity of 50%.

But “if the situation improves, we could, for example, consider the possibility of closing classes again after three cases” or “reestablishing full classes for all high school and university students,” said the minister.

The government will also distribute millions of nasal self-tests in schools so that students can take a covid test once a week and thus keep infections at bay.

Traffic restrictions were also lifted on Monday, which prevented the French from traveling more than 10 kilometers from their homes, except for compelling reasons.

This return to the classroom and the lifting of traffic restrictions mark the beginning of a four-stage deconfinement announced by President Emmanuel Macron.

Its next stage is scheduled for May 19, with the reopening of shops, cinemas, museums, theaters and terraces of bars and restaurants, as well as the passage of the curfew from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

However, as stressed by the Head of State and his ministers, this calendar is subject to the evolution of the health situation.

The lifting of the restrictions comes at a time when the country registers a decrease in hospitalizations and admissions to intensive care units, with a fall of 13% and 18% respectively in the last seven days compared with the previous week.

However, these figures remain high, with an average of 1,564 new hospital admissions and 357 intensive care unit admissions per day in the last seven days.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 5.6 million contaminations with covid-19 and 104,800 deaths have been registered.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.