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Parents happy to see children ‘socialize’ again upon return to classes

Pupils return to school after Christmas holidays with low vaccination figures and new quarantine protocols

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10 January 2022 02:54 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

Children across Catalonia are back in classrooms this Monday following the Christmas break, after authorities decided not to postpone the return date amid rising Covid-19 case numbers

For this new year, classes across the country may face virus outbreaks, which will be mitigated with a new quarantine protocol and free antigen testing, but in spite of this, parents are happy to see the children returning to school. 

Parents consulted by the Catalan News Agency overall saw the return after more than two weeks at home for the holidays as a positive thing for their children, saying that the kids need to “socialize.”

They also want to see school-age children join the rapidly advancing vaccination campaign, as just over 30% of 5-11 year olds have received one dose, while fewer than 3% are considered fully immunized as a result of recent infection.

Additionally, parents also believe that educational centres have prepared for the health crisis, arguing that schools follow all security measures, and they believe that restrictions should be gradually reduced.

One mother, Victoria, who brought her child to school on Monday morning in Barcelona, admitted being afraid for what might happen with the school situation amid lots of information coming out over the past couple of weeks. In the end, she believes that returning to class today is “the best decision.” 

Jordi, a father with a child in the same school, said that combining working from home with looking after children at home and completing homework with them is not an easy task for families. He also pointed out that the pandemic situation is different in each school and in each municipality, and celebrated that nobody in his family felt any symptoms, and is sure that the children are "better at school."

As for Claudia, she remarked that the children are in a "controlled environment", stressing that the centre takes all the necessary safety and precautionary measures. "As long as everything is done properly, it is good that they are reunited with their friends and that they can return to their routines," she said. 

Caesar, another father of a child in the same school, agreed. “We had a great holiday, we didn’t get sick, and unless there’s a very serious outbreak it’s okay for them to go back to school,” he said. 

Quarantine protocol

The question over how the pandemic will evolve now classes have restarted and groups of children have resumed their regular contact remains to be seen, but with case numbers surging over the past weeks, a further rise is very possible. 

The new year has also kicked off with a higher threshold for class quarantines in the event of Covid-19 outbreaks. Now, students will only have to quarantine if 5 or more classmates test positive within a week.

If this is the case, only those who are not immunized – that is, those who are not vaccinated or have not had Covid in the past three months – will have to quarantine.

Up until now, all primary school-age students to whom the vaccine was not yet available were considered close contacts of classmates who tested positive for the virus and were sent home to self-isolate.

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  • Parents and children arrive for the first day of class after the Christmas break, January 10, 2022 (by Eli Don)

  • Parents and children arrive for the first day of class after the Christmas break, January 10, 2022 (by Eli Don)

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