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First 'normal' school year starts: No more pandemic restrictions
Wednesday, September 14, 2022 @ 11:13 PM

EVERY school in Spain has now started the new term again as at today, and it will be the first academic year since 2019 with no Covid-related restrictions whatsoever, according to the ministries of health and education.

Meeting up with friends again, but without the masks or elbow-bumping - a welcome start to the 2022-2023 academic year (photo by Spain's national television broadcasting company, RTVE)

September start dates for schools vary by region, with some having already gone back on Friday, September 2 or Monday, September 5, and others not due to begin the new term until Monday, September 12.

But now that everyone is back in the classroom after the long summer holidays, it will be, for the youngest pupils, their first school year without masks, hand-washing, peer-group and playground 'bubbles', social distancing, online learning, and the threat of self-isolation always present.

The only difference between the new term in September 2019 and that of September 2022 is that those who take the school bus will have to wear a mask inside it, since it counts as 'public transport', where masks are still compulsory.

National health laws no longer require a person testing positive for Covid to quarantine, nor any of their contacts, since the vaccine roll-out – third doses have been made available to the entire population and a fourth is about to start for the over-80s – means contracting the virus will rarely require hospital treatment except in those with pre-existing respiratory disorders, usually as a precaution.


Masks in classrooms 'impede development'

Children at school were allowed to stop wearing masks long before the adult population, and paediatricians championed this move: In addition to Covid cases tending to be much milder in the very young, mask-wearing can be challenging for kids with autism, ADHD or sensory-overload conditions in general, has been proven to slow down verbal communication development in very small children, and is a major barrier for deaf pupils who rely on having to lip-read.




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