Fully vaccinated students will no longer have to quarantine if classmate tests positive
Face mask use will continue to be required throughout upcoming 2021-2022 academic year
Unlike last academic year, fully vaccinated students will no longer have to self-isolate if they have a classmate who tests positive for Covid-19.
As the vaccination of over 12s continues to progress – 54.4% of 12- to 15-year-olds have at least one dose of a coronavirus jab and 13.5% are fully vaccinated as of August 29 – this change is set to have a considerable impact on in-person learning throughout the 2021-2022 school year that set to begin on September 13.
"There will be positive cases at schools," Catalan education minister Josep González Cambray warned on Monday. "But this doesn't mean we aren't doing things correctly."
Face mask use will continue to be required for all children 6 and over, although this year students in the same stable 'bubble' groups will be able to remove them if and when they are alone on the playground. Different stable groups will be allowed to play together during break time, but they will not be allowed to take their masks off.
Beyond this, most other Covid-19 measures in schools will remain the same as last year: classrooms will have to be adequately ventilated and students will have to wash their hands frequently throughout the day.
But parents and guardians will be allowed to ease 3 and 4-year-olds' transitions into the classroom by accompanying them on their first days of preschool, something that was not permitted last year over Covid-19 fears. They will also be permitted to walk other older students to their classrooms as long as this is done through the playground area.
Schools are asked to prioritize online parent-teacher conferences, although they will be allowed to take place in person if necessary.
Educational centers will be allowed to host school fairs and other celebrations outdoors as long as all attendees are masked and wash their hands, while they will only be allowed indoors for members of the same stable group.
"We are not easing measures," government spokesperson Patrícia Plaja said, "we are adjusting them."
Authorities, who have sent parents of school-age children 12 and over a letter urging them to get their kids vaccinated, continue to stress the importance of Covid-19 jabs. "The academic year starts in two weeks. Now is the time to get vaccinated," Cambray said.