Back To School Rules: Vaccinations, Health Pass, Masks And Class Closures In France

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Nancy Heslin   Forbes Monaco

Back To School Rules: Vaccinations, Health Pass, Masks And Class Closures In France

Photo: Ministère de l’Education nationale, de la Jeunesse et des Sports Facebook

In an interview with the Journal du Dimanche, minister of education Jean-Michel Blanquer stated a vaccination campaign for students over the age of 12 will begin at the start of the school year on September 2.

Since the beginning of summer, some 55% of 12- to 17-year-olds in France have already had at least one dose of the Covid vaccine.

“In all middle and high schools in France, students and staff who wish so will have access to the vaccine, near or within their establishment” said Blanquer.

The minister explained that “depending on the situation” either mobile vaccination teams will come to the schools, or health services will help coordinate getting students to vaccination centers.

In addition, a “Level 2” protocol has been put in place for Paris with all schools opening without distance learning, although the ministry reserves the right to take a more strict direction should the health situation deteriorate.

The wearing of masks indoors will still be mandatory for students from CP (cours préparatoire, or Grade 1). Outdoors, especially at recess, masks will need to be worn in areas where it is required for the general population.

For physical education and sports teachers, indoors contact sports— for example, judo—are prohibited.

Class closures
For middle and high school, from 6me to Terminale (Grades 6 to 12), if a student tests positive, a 7-day period of isolation at home will only be necessary for students who are neither vaccinated nor immunized if they are defined as “at risk,” which, as the minister pointed out, is the “same rule as for the rest of the population.”

He added, “An pupil that is not vaccinated is in a riskier situation than a pupil who has received at least one injection. Asking the student to stay at home protects him and others.”

At the primary level where children are not old enough to be vaccinated, the entire class will close for seven days in the event of a contamination. To protect medical confidentiality, a pupil's vaccination status will be communicated in the form of a certificate from the parents.

Health pass
Blanquer confirmed that a health pass will not be required for school trips that are reserved exclusively for students, such as a theatre performance or swimming pool. However, for an excursion to a museum that also welcomes the public, unvaccinated students will have to provide a negative PCR test.

A health pass will not be imposed on parents who enter school grounds but they must wear a mask.

Schools will continue to offer saliva tests but in a more targeted manner when health officials see a potentially suspect situation at the local level. For personnel, two self-tests will continue to be distributed for those who want to be tested.

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Nancy Heslin   Forbes Monaco

Nancy Heslin is an established journalist and lifestyle writer. She has been the Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Monaco magazine (bimonthly in English) , since the magazine's 2nd issue . Launched in November 2018, Forbes Monaco is part of the Forbes family, with its 7 million readers and 71 million monthly website visitors worldwide.