News Local Experts say support reopening of schools 'under conditions'

Experts say support reopening of schools ‘under conditions’

Amid an ongoing debate on whether the government’s decision to reopen schools on May 21 was premature, the team of scientists advising it on the coronavirus situation clarified on Thursday that its proposals had included the gradual return to class, under conditions.

Teachers unions have voiced surprise at the government’s decision  saying they expected schools to open later and with older pupils only.

The parents association of secondary school pupils have urged the government to reconsider should there be a spike in cases.

The scientific team issued a written statement saying it wanted to clarify its position in view of comments that experts disagree with the reopening of the schools.

It said that when they were asked to submit  their observations to the draft road map for the gradual lifting of the restrictive measures of April 27, their position had been that the reopening of schools would depend on the epidemiological indicators and the evaluation of the experience of other countries where schools have already reopened.

As there are different approaches in EU member states it was decided that the first evaluation should be carried out on Saturday.

The team had also suggested coronavirus tests on children and teachers after schools reopened — a suggestion which was adopted by cabinet today which approved a request by the Health Minister for 13,000 pupils and 7000 teachers to be tested.

“It is reiterated one more time that retaining the epidemiological indicators at the desired level is a precondition for the relaxations in all sectors covered by the second phase which besides the schools also includes the opening of hair dressers, the partial reopening of catering establishments among other,” it said.

The team’s long standing view is the need for constant monitoring of the epidemiological indicators on which further actions will depend, it added.

The cooperation between the team members and the political leadership is particularly productive, something recognised by international organisations which have praised Cyprus for its handling of the pandemic, the team added.

It therefore appealed for the avoidance of confrontation and unnecessary aggravation through the invocation of positions which do not express the committee as a body, it concluded.

Read more

Opening of schools will help familiarise children with protective measures



Top Stories

128 new cases, three deaths announced on Wednesday

The Health Ministry announced the death of three persons due to COVID-19. This raises the death toll from the virus in Cyprus to 193,...

Where to get antigen rapid tests during period 28-31 January

The Health Ministry announced the following antigen rapid test sites during the period 28-31 January 2021: LIMASSOL Church of Agios Ioannis Eleimon, Limassol 08:30-18:30 Cultural Center Mesa...

Israel, Denmark to vaccinate all athletes for Tokyo Olympic Games

Several countries, including Israel and Denmark, said on Wednesday they would vaccinate their athletes and staff against COVID-19 ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, amid...

UK AstraZeneca vaccine plant partially evacuated over suspect package

A factory in Wales that produces AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine was partially evacuated on Wednesday after it received a suspicious package and police said a...

43-year-old arrested for speeding

Members of the Police arrested this morning a 43-year-old man who was seen speeding at the Nicosia-Larnaca road near Koshi village. The man was stopped...


Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...


No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...