Most elementary schools, secondary schools, and universities in Iceland will start classes again for the fall semester in less than a month. Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason stated that he has not previously recommended that schools close due to the recent coronavirus outbreak in Iceland, and does not currently have any intention to do so, Morgunblaðið reports.
“We set guidelines for the schools, but it is up to them to make this decision,” he stated in an interview with Morgunblaðið. “I know schools have come up with a number of solutions to stay within the guidelines we have set. I sincerely hope that work hard to follow our instructions and succeed in doing so.”
Schools must work within regulations
At the height of the pandemic this spring, all university buildings were closed and courses moved online. At the same time, schooling in both elementary and secondary schools were regulated by means of a maximum numbers of students in a classroom at any given time along with two-metre distancing.
“We have not announced that schools will have to close. We have certain number limits, and the schools will have to rely on themselves to work within them,” Þórólfur explained. As regulations currently stand, no more than 100 people may gather in any given space or at any given event, and masks must be worn if a two-metre distance cannot be maintained.
“If they are not able to limit the number of people gathering to 100 and keep the two-metre distance, then schools will have to come up with other solutions. We are not telling people exactly what to do, but we are helping many people to implement the measures, as many are having some problems with it.”
At an information meeting with civil defense ministers, Þórólfur mentioned that a similar approach would be taken with schools as in the spring. He also pointed out that there were indications that children are much less contagious than adults.
Consultation meetings with the education authorities are on the table for this week.
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