Malta will reopen its schools at the end of this month, with new measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible.
Students older than 11, as well as all staff, must wear masks throughout the day, while students younger than 11 will be allowed to keep their masks off in the classroom but will have to wear them when leaving the room.
Superintendent of Public Health Prof. Charmaine Gauci said the health authorities are promoting a ‘class bubble’ approach, whereby students will spend the entire day with their class group, including in break, so as to limit their contact with other students.
“This can be carried out easily in primary schools but it must also be carried out in secondary as much as possible to avoid students from different classes interacting with each other as much as possible, including during break time,” she said.
She urged schools to keep the number of students in classes as low as possible so as to make it easier to maintain social distancing.
Parents are encouraged not to send their children to school if they’re feeling sick and students will have their temperatures checked before entering school. If children or staff develop symptoms while at school, they will be sent to a room where they will be taken care of before they can go home.
Hand sanitiser will be provided on school transport and masks must be worn on board by the students and driver alike. Frank Fabri, permanent secretary at the Education Ministry, urged parents to drive their children to school where possible.
Talks are ongoing between the Education Ministry and the Malta Union of Teachers on an online teaching model for students who will have to remain at home for one reason or other.