COVID-19: Austria To Re-Open Schools In May

COVID-19: Austria To Re-Open Schools In May

Austria said on Friday that it will begin to reopen classes in schools from 4 May, while a gradual easing of coronavirus lockdown measures continues.

About 100,000 senior students will return to school on May 4, Education Minister Heinz Fassmann told a news conference.

Schools for children aged six to 14 will reopen on May 15, while classes for other students aged 15 and over will continue from May 29, as long as infections do not arise again, said Fassmann.

He added that classes will be divided into two groups, with teachers participating in just one group on a given day to ensure that the numbers are kept around 11 students per classroom, so that a safe distance between them is maintained.

The group that is not being taught at any time will be able to work on tasks in other rooms or at home.

Students will also have to wear masks in schools, except when sitting at their desks in classrooms.

Music and gym classes, however, will not resume and the curriculum will focus on the main subjects.

Austria began this month to ease the lockdown measures imposed in March and which have so far managed to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

Small shops and garden and hardware stores started reopening in mid-April. Larger stores will follow next week. Restaurants are expected to reopen from mid-May.

The country of nearly nine million people has been spared the burden of the crisis so far, with about 15,000 reported infections cases and 530 deaths.

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