Madrid Desk, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- Schools across Europe continued to reopen on Monday after months of closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Children returned to classes in Italy, Greece and Portugal amid a series of measures to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.
The majority of schools in Italy reopened after six months to start a new school year.
Around 5.6 million out of 8.3 million students returned to class in 12 regions of the country and in the autonomous province of Trento, according to the education ministry.
Some areas postponed the start of the new academic year due to regional elections while others went back last week.
Education minister Lucia Azzolina said: “The students have a great desire to return to class and regain their sociability.
“We know this will be a complex year but we have worked hard and built a prevention strategy that will work if everyone does their part responsibly.”
A number of protocols have been implemented, including staggered arrival and exit times, different times to go to the bathroom and not to leave any personal belongings in classrooms.
Any student with symptoms will be isolated and sent home as soon as possible and if they test positive their class and teachers will go into isolation for 14 days.
It came as former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi was discharged from the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan 11 days after being admitted with pneumonia caused by coronavirus.
“I can say with satisfaction that this time I have also been spared,” he told the press, thanking the medics who cared for him and adding that “this has been the most dangerous test of my life”.
A new school year started in Greece seven days later than planned amid complaints from parents and teachers about a lack of adequate health measures in schools.
Students returned to their classrooms almost half a year after schools were closed due to the pandemic.
Some establishments took pupils’ temperatures at the entrances and told the children how to disinfect their hands.
Masks are mandatory for teachers and students over four years old in the classroom and on school transport.
Most students put on their masks just before entering the school.
Parents staged demonstrations last week in several Greek cities over masks, raising concerns about youngsters being able to breathe, that children cannot use them properly and could be exposed to more infection.