Up to ten Czech schools will not open this week due to COVID-19 measures

Some schools have announced that they will not open on September 1 due to the Czech Republic's anti-COVID-19 measures.

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 31.08.2020 08:26 (updated on 31.08.2020)

Prague, Aug 30 (CTK) – Up to ten schools will not open in the Czech Republic on September 1 due to the situation surrounding anti-coronavirus measures in the country, Education Minister Robert Plaga (for ANO) told Prima TV.

Opposition Civic Democrat (ODS) deputy chairman Martin Baxa, the party’s expert on schools, criticized the unclear rules for wearing face masks at schools.

The Association of Primary School Principals demands clear rules for schools for Prague, where the COVID-19 epidemiological situation is currently the worst, from public health officers on Monday, association chairman Michal Černý told Prima.

School principals alone can decide on a possible wearing of face masks at their schools, as the Prague Public Health Office has not ordered this measure now, its spokesman Zbyněk Boublík told CTK.

The new school year is to start in the Czech Republic on September 1 as usual, but the schools must follow strict sanitary measures.

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According to the new rules, face masks will not be mandatory at all schools across the country, which the ministry originally intended.

However, the face mask duty might be re-introduced if the situation surrounding the coronavirus infection spread worsens. The measures will be taken on the basis of the traffic light map, the epidemiological map that colors districts in white (zero risk), green, yellow and red depending on the rising risk level.

Schools should not be closed across the country like in the spring, when all were closed from mid-March as part of the anti-coronavirus restrictions and some of them remained closed until the end the school year.

However, some schools announced that they would not open on September 1 due to the Czech Republic’s anti-COVID-19 measures.

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There are up to ten such schools, Plaga said, adding that the aim was to lower the measures at schools to a minimum.

One of them could be the duty to wear face masks at schools in the capital, but it has not yet been ordered.

The capital is “in a transitional phase between green and yellow” and the situation is not so serious to require the introduction of the face mask duty, Plaga said today.

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Baxa criticized the unclear instructions. He recalled that Health Minister Adam Vojtěch (for ANO) had first declared a broad face mask duty as of September 1, but a day later, after the talks with PM Andrej Babis (ANO), he had lifted it again.

“There are dozens of hours left until the schools’ opening and their principals do not know (what to do) yet,” Baxa, adding that the school management, parents and students are kept in uncertainty.

Plaga admitted that the information about face mask wearing had not been comprehensible.

However, the manual for schools sets clear rules of how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, while the regional public health offices will decide on measures in regions according to the situation, Plaga said. He added that he hoped they would proceed in a predictable way.