Covid-19 outbreak in one school won't have national consequences, Education Minister says
If there is a coronavirus outbreak at a school, local measures will be taken. But one or two local outbreaks will not affect the entire education system, Minister Arie Slob for Primary and Secondary Education said in an interview with AD. He wants to prevent school closures as much as possible.
"If extra measures are needed in places, then this must be done at school level, locally or regionally," Slob said. "The GGD and the security regin can then intervene and close a school or several schools in a city, municipality or region. So it's not that if something is going on in Amsterdam, schools in Groningen must also close."
In Amsterdam last week, a primary school was closed for two days after an employee tested positive for Covid-19. Kids were told to stay home while the other teachers and employees were tested.
On Monday, the summer holidays are over in all regions. "It has been more than five months since all schools were fully open," Slob said. "It is great that it is possible again, although of course we have to be alert and there will continue to be concerns."
When asked about schools that oblige their pupils to wear face masks, Slob said that they are allowed to do that. "There is no national obligation. We have received advice and it shows that face masks do not really have added value. So are not necessary. We base our choices on the Outbreak Management Team."
But schools who feel safer asking their pupils and staff to wear masks can do so. There are concerns about old ventilation systems in schools and the role this could play in spreading coronavirus carrying aerosols. Slob expects to have clarity on this topic before October 1, he said to the newspaper.