Children who will not get tested for Covid-19 or prove to be safe from the infection in another way at the beginning of the school year will not be temporarily allowed to attend physical education indoors and sing at school, according to the health ministry manual sent to schools on Tuesday.
In addition, such children will have to wear face masks all the time at school and should keep a distance from others, also when eating and drinking.
These special rules will be applied until the end of the extraordinary testing at schools, that is until September 10, Heath Minister Adam Vojtech and Robert Plaga told a press conference.
“Mandatory testing is supposed to show us a picture of the epidemiological situation in the country as a whole. (…) But the mandatory testing applies only temporarily,” said Vojtech.
Some parts of the manual are only recommendations while other instructions are binding for schools. The recommendations relate mainly to the rules for disinfection, cleaning, organization of teaching, meals, etc, while regulations regarding the wearing of respiratory protection, isolation of the infected, and testing at the beginning of the school year are mandatory.
Testing will take place in early September. The manual also contains a section on specific testing days at the beginning of the school year. This will take place on September 1, 6, and 9.
For first-graders and preparatory classes, the first testing may not be until the second day of school. Schools will receive antigen tests, but for more accurate results, they may arrange PCR tests. In this case, testing once a week is enough.
If there are more than 25 positive cases per 100,000 tests performed in schools in one district, testing would continue once a week until the end of September.
If students do not get tested, they will have to wear protection throughout their stay at school. They will have to keep a safe distance from other students while eating and drinking or changing.