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Face masks obligatory at schools for students over 6

Spain and regional governments including Catalonia agree on measure

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27 August 2020 03:40 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

In the end, all students in Catalan schools over six will have to wear face masks at all times when they start classes on September 14.

Earlier this week, the Catalan government had presented a plan which included making face masks compulsory for those over twelve – yet, in a meeting held on Thursday, the Spanish government and the regional executives, including the one led by Quim Torra, agreed to set the minimum age at six for mandatory face coverings.

The measure will apply even when pupils are with their class, and also when they are able to maintain a safety distance of 1.5 meters.

The outcome of the meeting also entails other compulsory measures, including the need for students to wash their hands 5 times a day and get their temperatures tested every day – regions will be able to choose whether it is parents or schools who check temperatures.

Teaching will be face-to-face at all educational levels, but will be prioritized until the second year of ESO especially, that is, up until students are 14 years old.

Facilities should be ventilated frequently, 1.5m social distancing should be employed in canteens, and the use of face masks on school transport will be compulsory for pupils aged six and over, and recommended for those aged three to five.

After the meeting, Spain's education minister, Isabel Celaá, said that schools will only close in case of a large outbreak – this contradicts the Catalan plans, which included the closure of a center if two students of different classes tested positive.

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  • A teacher and several students with face masks at Miquel Utrillo school, in Sitges, on June 17, 2020 (by Gemma Sánchez)

  • A teacher and several students with face masks at Miquel Utrillo school, in Sitges, on June 17, 2020 (by Gemma Sánchez)

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