Back to school with facemasks, bubble groups and social distancing of 1.2m

The new school year, which gets underway on 8 September, will begin with the measures which were agreed by the education community in May: face-to-face learning, compulsory facemasks for children over six, a reduction in social distancing to 1.2m where the Covid-19 incidence rate is low.

The announcement came on Wednesday, following a meeting of the education departments of the central and regional governments. Education Minister, Pilar Alegría, said that one of the main objectives was the maximum amount of face-to-face classes as possible. She said that “presential” classes had been shown to be “an absolutely necessary tool to improve equality in education,”

She continued, saying that this year Spain has another “fundamental tool”, that of vaccination, that all the regions are vaccinating over 12s and almost 100% of teaching staff are fully vaccinated.

Also speaking after the meeting on Wednesday, Valencia’s education minister, Vicent Marzà said that 78% of the region’s over 12s had already received a first jab of coronavirus vaccine. He said that 100% of students will have had the chance to recieve a first jab before going back to class in September and that “the large majority” will already have recieved their second jab. He said this was very positive news and that it would help towards a much calmer start to the school year.

He added that there would be 100% face-to-face teaching which the government was guaranteeing with 5,000 more teachers to better attend to students’ needs.

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