Younger pupils might go back to school on January 11

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As of January 11, pupils of grades 1-4 could resume learning at school, Education and Science Minister Ilga Šuplinska (New Conservative Party) told Latvian Radio January 5.

There is currently an agreement on on-site learning for pupils in grades 1-4. There is also talk of on-site learning for pupils of grades 9 and 12 who must pass State exams and need teacher support at school.

Other pupils shall continue remote learning.

The Cabinet could decide on this on Tuesday, January 5. The government will also decide again on the rule to wear masks for junior pupils.

Šuplinska said that if pupils wore masks and the requirements for ventilation and disinfecting surfaces remain, the standard on density in classrooms - three square meters per pupil -could only be recommended, not mandatory. This means that in schools where this would create an additional problem, it would be possible to decide by assessing the overall situation.

The Minister said that the quality of education has already been affected due to remote learning. The emotional and psychological state of children has also suffered, said Šuplinska.

Health Ministry's chief infectologist Uga Dumpis, however, told Latvian Television that it would be recommended to wait another week. Though children are not the main source of infection, their return to schools would trigger more movement of people.

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