Covid safety guidelines developed for next school year in Latvia

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Ministry for Education and Science (IZM) presented guidelines at the government meeting August 17 outlining safety rules to be observed in order to conduct the coming school year on-site. The plan is still to be viewed in the Saeima.

Pre-school educational establishments. It is planned that children could come to kindergartens and other pre-schools with a Covid-19 certificate or a negative Covid-19 test; however, vaccination of young children has not yet been approved in Latvia. Test would be state-funded but would not be carried out at the establishment. Children would not have to wear masks but staff would if they do not hold a Covid-19 certificate. 

General education institutions (schools). It is planned that both teachers and students will learn onsite with a Covid-19 certificate or a negative test result. Testing is to be paid for by the State and carried out at schools. It is planned that in years 1 to 3 masks would not be worn but other students would wear masks. The same applies to vocational schools.

Higher education establishments, universities, colleges. The plan provides that only people with a Covid-19 certificate would be able to participate onsite.  A transitional period is foreseen until October 10, when people with a negative test performed during the last 48 hours will also be able to participate. Tests will have to be paid for by oneself.

If parents do not allow their child to carry out a saliva test, then they will have to take responsibility for homeschooling.

“But we hope that parents will be understanding, because the saliva test is simple enough to be able to study in person,” said Education Minister Anita Muižniece. Students with a Covid-19 certificate will not have to do the tests.

Amendments to the law will still have to be decided on by the Saeima.

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