Vaccinated pupils in France to stay in school if class has Covid case

Unvaccinated students will have to study from home in the same scenario under new health rules to be introduced in schools from September

28 July 2021
A teenage student studying from home. Vaccinated pupils in France to stay in school if class has Covid case

The rule will apply to students aged 12 and over, who are currently eligible for Covid vaccines Pic: fizkes / Shutterstock

By Joanna York

Vaccinated students will continue to go to school in person if a Covid case is discovered in their class while unvaccinated students will have to study from home for seven days, Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said this morning (July 28).

The minister was discussing new health rules to be put in place in schools from September.

This rule will apply to students aged 12 and over, who are currently eligible for Covid vaccines. 

Primary schools will follow the same rules as in the last school year, meaning if a Covid case is detected in a class all students in the class will then study from home for seven days. 

However, Mr Blanquer added that he was “fairly sure that there would be less disruption in the coming school year”.

Vaccination centres to be opened near schools

In order to boost vaccination rates among secondary school students 6,000-7,000 vaccination centres will be opened from September “in or next to” schools, the education minister added.

Four health scenarios (green, yellow, orange and red) have also been planned for the coming academic year, depending on the health situation.

“In the lightest [green] scenario there will be no masks in primary schools – but I fear that this will not be the case in September,” Mr Blanquer said.

The Education Ministry website says that, at the green level, masks would still be required indoors for secondary school pupils in colleges and lycées.

At the yellow level, primary school children would also have to wear masks indoors, and at the orange and red levels students of all ages would have to wear masks indoors and outdoors.

The four scenarios also specify health rules for sports, students mixing, cleaning, mealtimes and contact tracing.

No health pass for schools

The health ministry rejected the idea of using health passes to allow entry into schools for staff and students who are eligible for vaccines.

It also rejected the idea of making vaccination mandatory for teachers for the moment.

Mr Blanquer said: “The percentage of teachers who have been vaccinated is very high. I think it is over 80%.

“This figure needs to get as close as possible to 100% in order for us to avoid making vaccination mandatory. Doing so would be a last resort.”

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