Tests, outdoor masks, sports activities… Jean-Michel Blanquer’s announcements about the new protocol at school

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Parents, teachers and school principals will be able to prepare for the new health protocol at schools. Jean-Michel Blanquer, who has often been criticized for his late announcements, corrected the situation by announcing new measures to school academies and educational institutions this Friday to combat the coronavirus pandemic in schools, ten days before the premiere. holidays (for zone B). These announcements follow last Tuesday’s tripartite meeting with the Ministry of Health and teachers’ unions.

As the epidemic situation improved in the region, as in schools, some restrictions were expected to be relaxed. Indeed, class closures are falling for Covid-19 cases, with only 0.05% of schools and 2% of classrooms closed, according to ministry figures released on Friday. “The hardest part is behind us,” the Education Minister said on Friday.

Health protocol goes to level 2

Since the beginning of the week, in the pipes, the transition of health protocol from level 3 to level 2 in French schools has finally been registered. The latter includes removing the mask outdoors, especially on playgrounds, for students and supervisors, limiting mixing by level, especially during restoration times, and returning indoor sports with masks, “respecting distance: contact sports are not therefore. authorized without a mask,” the ministry reminds in a press release. These new measures will come into effect when each region returns from winter vacation: February 21 for zone B, February 28 for zone 1 and March 7 for zone C.

Streamlined self-tests

As fewer classrooms and schools than usual are closed, the Minister of Education announced that from February 28, two of the three mandatory self-tests have been removed if a positive case of Covid-19 is detected in a classroom. You no longer need to have your child tested at D0 and D+4, you only need to have it tested at D+2. Education workers are also affected by this change. According to Jean-Michel Blanquer, he made a statement to the press from the ministry’s court as he was “most effective” in D+2.

In addition, “in order for students to be admitted to schools, it will no longer be necessary to present a sworn statement from the students’ legal guardians confirming the completion of the exams. This simplification measure will come into effect from the start of the academic year on February 21, ”said the statement. “We will be in a trust system,” said Jean-Michel Blanquer.

In fact, this provision was poorly understood by teachers and parents who demanded a clearer device. “Really for what?” Sophie Venetitay, SNES-FSU’s assistant secretary and high school SES teacher, was intrigued by this affidavit whose test results could not be verified.

Is a reduced protocol too soon?

The risk is to lift some restrictions too early, especially the mask outside in schools. Yves Buisson, epidemiologist and head of the Covid-19 group at the Academy of Medicine, “is not sure if mask-wearing should be removed outside. In playgrounds, we are in the body, albeit outside, rather than in the classrooms. This is the difference of daily life, on the street, we don’t kiss everyone, we naturally keep our distance. »

Even unions prefer stability in measures rather than taking one step forward and three steps back. For SE-UNSA general secretary Stéphane Crochet, it is necessary to avoid “duplicating orders and counter-orders in the coming weeks”, as happened between October and November, when mask-wearing was abandoned. It was restored a few weeks later, given the epidemic situation in the country.