German Pupils Return To Schools Despite Rising Infections
Faizan Hashmi 7 days ago Mon 22nd February 2021 | 05:46 PM
Hundreds of thousands of German pupils returned to schools and kindergartens for the first time in two months on Monday, despite fears of a third coronavirus wave fuelled by the British variant
Berlin, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 22nd Feb, 2021 ) :Hundreds of thousands of German pupils returned to schools and kindergartens for the first time in two months on Monday, despite fears of a third coronavirus wave fuelled by the British variant.
Most schools are limiting the return to pupils attending Primary classes one to three. Class sizes have also been halved, alongside other precautions such as mask-wearing and airing out rooms, but critics have questioned whether the timing is right for the reopenings.
In discussions with party colleagues on Monday, Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly mooted plans for a step-by-step relaxation of measures in areas such as social contact, schools and restaurants and culture.
Merkel argued that relaxation measures should be strongly tied to testing, according to participants in the meeting.
On Monday, the nationwide seven-day incidence rate returned to 61 cases per 100,000 people after sinking to almost 50 in the past weeks.
"We're seeing that the numbers are climbing again. That's annoying, and it brings back some uncertainty," Health Minister Jens Spahn told public broadcaster ARD Sunday, urging "caution".
Yet Families Minister Franziska Giffey defended the decision to allow schools to reopen on Monday.
"Taking the first steps to open things up is the right thing to do for children and their wellbeing," Giffey told broadcaster ZDF.
She admitted however that schools may have to close again in regions with a dramatic rise in case numbers.
In Berlin, primary school pupils will have to wear masks during lessons, with class sizes reduced to half the usual size and classes alternating between school and remote learning.
Other states such as Saxony are offering a full programme, with classes split into strictly separated smaller groups.
Teachers may also soon be moved into a higher priority category for inoculation.