About 5.6 million students in Italy are back in class on Monday as schools in most of the country reopen their doors. They were closed for more than six months to prevent possible coronavirus infections.
“Today is an important day for the entire national community,” said Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, adding that the government “is not hiding the difficulties”.
Some regions have postponed the reopening date to next week, while German-speaking South Tyrol opened earlier, on September 7. In total there are more than 8 million school children in Italy.
Reopening schools is a major logistical and organizational challenge, while there are also fears that this could lead to a new spike in infection rates.
Schools have had to rearrange the classrooms to ensure that students are at least 1 meter apart. If this is not possible, or when they are moving, they should wear a face mask.
To facilitate social distance, the government has ordered 2.4 million single-seat desks, but completion is late and is not expected to be completed until the end of October.