26th November 2020
Face masks in class
Barcelona News Catalonia News Education & Training Madrid News Main News

Spanish government agrees plan with regions for return to school – full details

Latest: Coronavirus in Spain figures (24 Sept)

All students aged over 6 will have to wear face masks at all times when they start classes across Spain during September, to combat potential infections of Coronavirus (Covid-19) at schools.

This is just one of the ‘protocol measures’ agreed between the Spanish government and all the regional authorities, as part of an overall agreement to start the 2020-2021 academic year, and ‘to achieve the highest degree of presence possible and a safe return to the classroom’.

Isabel Celaá and Health Minister Salvador Illa
Education Minister Isabel Celaá (centre), Health Minister Salvador Illa (left) and Carolina Darias, Minister for Territorial Policy, during the press conference on 27 August 2020. (Pool Moncloa)

It was announced on Thursday following a recent online conference on education and health.

The full agreement encompasses 29 measures and 5 recommendations – to be applied by the ‘competent administrations in educational centres’ in each region of Spain, with the objective of ‘building a model of co-governance that generates trust in the educational community’.

At a press conference on Thursday, Spain’s Education Minister Isabel Celaá, the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, and the Minister of Territorial Policy, Carolina Darias, presented the key measures in the agreement.

Face masks in class
Students already had to wear face marks for this year’s ‘Selectividad’ exams. Photo courtesy of the Universidad Internacional de Valencia. (universidadviu.es)

Overall, the Spanish government and regional authorities have agreed that pupils should be physically present at school, with teaching activity held face-to-face and not online, and for all levels and stages of the educational system.

These are all the key measures & recommendations:

  • Face masks will be compulsory in general at school (in class or not) from the age of six, and regardless of whether social distancing of 1.5 metres can be respected.
  • Face masks will also be compulsory when using school transport from the age of six. It is also recommended that children aged between 3-5 wear face masks on school transport. Each child should be assigned a fixed seat on a school bus.
  • The physical distance between pupils should be 1.5 metres.
  • The temperature of each pupil will be taken prior to each teaching day, both for students and teachers. In the event that the temperature is taken at the educational centre, then the school will arrange the way to carry it out, but always avoiding crowds and ensuring the maintenance of the minimum social distance.
  • Students should wash their hands ‘frequently and meticulously’ – at least five times a day.
  • Classrooms should be aired frequently, before and after each class, during recess and at the end of the day – at least for 10-15 minutes. If possible, classroom windows should be left open throughout the school day.
  • Cleaning at schools should be increased, especially in the washrooms and in other areas frequently used.
  • Each educational centre should have a person responsible for all matters related to Covid-19, from ensuring that the protocols are met and to also be ready to take action in the event of infections.
  • Stable ‘co-existence groups’ should be organised, the so-called ‘bubble groups’, in order to limit contact with other classes. These groups should be promoted for infants’ education and through the first cycle of primary education, ‘at least’ up to second grade. The children in these bubble groups will not have to maintain social distancing between one another. It is further recommended to organise all students in bubble groups as far as possible.
  • Social distancing of 1.5m must be maintained for all activities that require students from different co-existence groups or classes to mix together – but it is stressed that ‘contact between classes should be minimized’. Where possible, outside spaces should be used for any activities between groups.
  • Non-teaching staff and other workers should reduce their physical presence at educational centres to an ‘essential minimum’, carrying out activities online whenever possible.
  • The authorities recommend that schools carry out communication and administrative issues with families by telephone, email, text messages or ordinary mail, and not face-to-face.
  • All workers who might be more vulnerable to the effects of Covid-19 must respect protection measures even more carefully.
  • Educational centres should remain open throughout the school year to ensure catering services, as well as educational support for pupils with special needs or socially vulnerable families, as long as the epidemiological situation of Covid-19 allows the centres to remain open.
  • In school dining rooms, the safety distances must also be respected, except within the bubble groups. Each child should have a fixed place for the entire school term in the dining room.
  • All school sports activities should be held without spectators.
  • Training of educational professionals in security protocols due to the pandemic should be given. Students should also receive health education.
  • Citizens are recommended to make the journey to the educational centres on foot or by bicycle, ‘to best guarantee social distancing’.
  • People who have symptoms compatible with Covid-19 should not attend any educational centre, whether they are students, teachers or other workers.
  • The overall agreement also establishes the course of action in the event of symptoms and testing, including early isolation and referral to the health system, the maintenance of the teaching activity whilst taking extreme precautions until the results of diagnostic tests, as well as the quarantine of close contacts. Any decisions on the suspension of class activity or the closure of specific schools in the event of outbreaks of Coronavirus will be taken by each regional authority.

Sign up for the FREE Weekly Newsletter from Spain in English

Click here for all previous reports on: Coronavirus in Spain

ALSO READ: Health Minister: first doses of Covid-19 vaccine in Spain ‘ by end of year’

ALSO READ: Pedro Sánchez offers possibility of ‘regional state of alarms’ – plus 2,000 troops to assist tracking Covid-19

ALSO READ: Catalonia bans social gatherings of more than 10 people

ALSO READ: Catalonia and Castilla La Mancha order the closure of brothels

ALSO READ: Backlash in Valencia against nightlife curfews – plus support for tourism

ALSO READ: Authorities warn of fines following anti-face mask protest in Madrid

ALSO READ: ‘Things are not going well,’ admits Health Ministry (20 August)

ALSO READ: Spain imposes strict new measures on nightlife across the country

ALSO READ: Spain’s GDP fell by 18.5% in second quarter, due to Covid-19 lockdown

ALSO READ: UK-Spain tourism fall-out continues: ‘Many British tourists feel safer in Benidorm than at home’

ALSO READ: Madrid makes face masks compulsory – and imposes nightlife restrictions 

ALSO READ: Catalonia to impose fines of up to €15,000 for ‘botellones’ – street drinking parties

ALSO READ: Germany advises against travelling to Catalonia, Aragón and Navarra

ALSO READ: Pedro Sánchez: ‘Safer to be in most regions of Spain than in the UK’

ALSO READ: Spain insists it is ‘a safe country’ for tourism – but cancellations continue

ALSO READ: UK advises against travelling to Spain – and imposes quarantine on return

ALSO READ: Catalonia closes nightclubs and imposes other curfews

ALSO READ: Spain honours Coronavirus victims as outbreaks continue

ALSO READ: Face masks to be compulsory in Catalonia – even with social distancing 

ALSO READ: Spain’s ‘New Normality’ – key points

ALSO READ: Face masks to remain compulsory until vaccine found, under ‘new normality’

ALSO READ: Lifting of lockdown in Spain – full details of all phases for all regions

Sign up for the FREE Weekly Newsletter from Spain in English

Please support Spain in English with a donation.

Click here to get your business activity or services listed on our DIRECTORY

Related posts

Two Pussy Riot members kicked off plane drunk

SiE Newsdesk / AFP / Agencies

Socialists soar in polls after coming to power

Catalan News ACN

Spain tourism arrivals fall in July for first time since 2009

AFP

One dead, four missing as flash floods hit Catalonia

Newsdesk / ACN

Spain authorises clinical trial of Covid-19 vaccine

News Desk

Coronavirus in Spain full update (19 April)

News Desk

Leave a Comment