Pupils to return to school mask-free, education minister says
Pupils in Luxembourg will be free to not wear masks during most of their school day but will have to take regular Covid-19 tests when they return in two weeks, Education Minister Claude Meisch said on Thursday.
When pupils return to school on 15 September they will be allowed to sit in classes without a mask, as they will when running around the playground. But children will still have to wear one when moving around the school corridors and during activities with more than 10 people.
They will also have take regular Covid tests, with secondary school students taking one at home and one at school on a weekly basis.
“It is a return to school where we must prepare for the health situation and safeguard the school to protect pupils,” Meisch said at a joint press conference with Health Minister Paulette Lenert. “It’s necessary for pupils to have the freedom that they need to develop.”
'If we test and vaccinate, we can function normally'
Children over the age of 12 can now be vaccinated in Luxembourg. By the time schools return 90% of teachers and around 50% of children aged 12 to 18 will have been fully vaccinated against the virus, Meisch said.
“It’s clear if we test and vaccinate, we can function normally,” he added. “It will [help] avoid the spread of the virus in the school community.”
If one person in a class tests positive for the virus, pupils will continue to go to school but will have to wear a mask until they have been tested. Children who are not vaccinated or who have not recently recovered from the disease or who will not take a test every 48 hours following a positive case will be forced to quarantine at home.
The measures are in line with demands made by teachers’ union FEDUSE at the start of the week who said regular testing will give pupils the freedom not to wear masks.
FEDUSE also called on the government to schedule weekly visits by mobile vaccination buses at high schools to increase jabs amongst adolescents as quickly as possible. There are no plans to currently bring this measure into force.