A new health protocol will come into effect in schools on Monday 14 March. As planned, wearing a face mask is no longer mandatory in class for both students and staff.
the government continues to ease health restrictions related to Covid-19. Monday, March 14, wearing a face mask, which has already been lifted since February 28 in places subject to the vaccination pass, will no longer be mandatory in closed places, except in public transport and health institutions. The vaccination pass is no longer required in restaurants, bars, nightclubs, cinemas, theatres, concert halls, stadiums, etc. The health pass (vaccination certificate, negative test or certificate of recovery) remains valid at the entrance of hospitals, rest homes and institutions for the disabled . This Thursday, the Ministry of National Education clarified the health protocol that will apply to schools from Monday: it is reduced to level 1†
The government justifies these reductions by the health situation that “has improved significantly over the past few weeks”† But since a few days, the incidence has started to rise again in a dozen departments.
End of mandatory wearing of a mouth cap for students and staff
The transition to level 1 of the health protocol means the end of the obligation to wear a mask indoors for primary school students. The ministry has decided to put an end to it too “for all employees and middle and high school students in accordance with the changes adopted in the general population”† The mask is therefore no longer mandatory for students and staff at school, college and secondary school.
However, students, their legal guardians and staff who wish to continue wearing it can do so. He is also highly recommended indoors, from 6 years, “for contacts at risk during the seven days after the occurrence of the confirmed case and for confirmed cases during the seven days after their isolation period”, at school and for extracurricular activities. Finally, wearing a mask may be recommended on medical advice.
The ministry also recalls that: wearing a mouth cap remains mandatory both in public transport and in school transport for all children from the age of six.
This change in the health protocol does not affect foreign academies. In addition, the ministry clarified that, depending on the evolution of the epidemic situation, “measures adapted to the local situation can be decided by the prefects, in collaboration with the regional health service and the academic authorities†
Change protocol for contact matters
If a confirmed case appears among the students in a kindergarten or primary school, all students in the classroom are considered high-risk contacts, without distinction between students who did or did not wear the mask. Students can continue to learn face-to-face, but must self-test two days after last contact (D+2) with the confirmed case (except for students who have contracted Covid-19 in the past two months).
In middle and high school, all students who have been in class with the confirmed case are considered high-risk contacts., without distinction between students who did or did not wear the mask. Must respect students over 12 years old, not vaccinated and who have not contracted Covid-19 for less than two months seven day quarantine after the last contact with the confirmed case and an antigen test or RT-PCR. to carry out at the end of this period. The others won’t have to respect quarantine but they will perform a self-test on D+2†
Concerning the in person schools, colleges and secondary schools that have a full vaccination coverage, they do not need to isolate themselves after contact with a confirmed case if they perform a test (self-test or antigen test) on D+2. Those who have contracted Covid-19 for less than two months do not need to be isolated or screened. Those who do not have a full vaccination schedule should: seven days in self-isolation (Isolation stops after seven days if an antigen or RT-PCR test is performed and the result is negative).
For positive cases : for students under 12 years of age, regardless of their vaccination status, as well as for students 12 years of age and older and staff using a full vaccination schedule, the isolation is seven days (possibility to reduce to five days if an antigen or PCR test is performed on D+5 and the result is negative, and in the absence of symptoms for 48 hours); for pupils aged 12 years and older and staff who are not vaccinated or do not have a full vaccination schedule, the isolation is ten days (possibility of up to seven days).
There is no need to restart a screening cycle if a new student in the class tests positive. “The screening cycle will not restart until the second confirmed case has interacted with other students after a period of seven days from the identification of the first case.‘, the ministry specifies.
Limit mixing “as far as possible”
The level 1 health protocol also provides for the: end of brewing limits between groups of students per level or in the canteen. However, it is recommended that “too much mixing between group class and levels initially and as much as possible, especially during recreation and recovery times”† In addition, barrier movements such as hand washing, ventilation and surface disinfection are maintained.
Resumption of contact sports
In addition, the level 1 health protocol provides for the: end of restrictions for the practice of physical and sports activities and thus the resumption of contact sports and indoor and outdoor activities.
Finally, school trips and field trips are allowed, but with strict adherence to health and safety conditions. As a reminder, school trips abroad must comply with the rules of the host country.