Over 30 schools closed due to coronavirus

The disturbing rise in the number of new coronavirus cases has triggered fresh measures across the Flemish education sector.  On Wednesday evening education minister Weyts (nationalist) held consultations with education unions and the main schools’ networks.

A sharp increase in the number of kindergartens and primary schools that have had to close during the past two weeks has been recorded.  Over 30 schools are closed: one secondary school, three boarding schools and 27 primary schools.

New measures agreed include mandatory wearing of face coverings by all pupils in the 5th and 6th years of primary school. Until now the obligation only existed when outbreaks occurred.

Pupils in the second grade of secondary school (3rd and 4th years) will return to school after Easter and not before the Easter break as initially planned.

Education minister Weyts has also asked for teachers to be given priority and to be vaccinated ahead of the population at large. So far, the only group of professionals that has been given priority are police officers on operational teams.

“The argument for the police was that they are often in contact with other people.  Well, I don’t know a single other group of people who are more closely in contact with people than teachers. People in kindergarten are confronted with saliva and the like on daily basis.”

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