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School, kindergarten opening to proceed as planned on Tuesday

Ljubljana, 25 January - Kindergartens and the first three grades of primary school in Slovenia will open as planned on Tuesday despite additional confirmation that the highly virulent UK variant of coronavirus has been present in Slovenia since the start of the month.

Videm-Dobrepolje
School desks designated with a cross must remain empty to ensure a safe distance between students.
Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA
File photo

After almost three months of closure, the partial reopening was decreed by the government last week, but the plan was thrown into doubt today when Prime Minister Janez Janša told parliament "we still don't know whether classes in schools will really be re-started on Tuesday."

After confirmation that the UK variant is in Slovenia, he solicited opinions from the Education Ministry and the National Public Health Institute (NIJZ), which both said the reopening may proceed. "Let's help teachers to make sure work is safe," Janša tweeted in the afternoon.

The Education Ministry said in its opinion schools were prepared and classes would be safe, while the NIJZ said its position remained unchanged and noted that it would carefully monitor the situation at educational institutions and "propose further measures at any sign of a deteriorating epidemiological situation".

All efforts now need to be invested in managing the epidemic at the national level and making sure the school environment is safe for children and staff. "If restrictions need to be tightened, other potential transmission locations should be closed first," the NIJZ said.

Slovenia conducted mass testing today of all teachers who will return to in-person teaching tomorrow.

sm/mab
© STA, 2021