A teacher wearing a protective face mask speaks to her pupils in junior high school in Athens, Monday, Sept. 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
ATHENS – Greece's students on Sept. 13 returned to the class from summer vacations and authorities are hoping it will stay that way and that there won't be any outbreaks of COVID-19.
Giving mixed messages, Education Minister Niki Kerameus has alternately said there won't be any return to remote learning online as during earlier lockdowns even if Coronavirus clusters reoccur – but that it could happen.
With the pandemic rising behind the especially contagious Delta Variant from India that now makes up every new case, requirements are in place for all students, staff and teachers to be either vaccinated or tested regularly.
Under government regulations, unvaccinated pupils will have to procure negative self test results twice each week, while teachers will have to take twice weekly rapid tests, and pay for them at 10 euros ($11.78) each.
Most pupils are not vaccinated although the government had opened appointments for the 12-15 year-old group and some 20 percent of teachers haven't been inoculated either, said Kathimerini.
After Kerameus said there will be live classes in schools, the ministry said it will switch to remote learning of more than half the pupils are infected as the New Democracy government hasn't made shots mandatory for teachers and staff.
Kerameus said the return to full-time, in-class lessons was a“main priority” and said health measures largely being ignored in Greek society would be enforced, such as wearing masks and staying safe social distances apart too.
A storm dropped a mix of rain and snow on parts of New England with some locations recording more than a half-foot (15 centimeters) of snowfall on Monday, knocking out power for tens of thousands of people and causing slick roads that contributed to a fiery propane truck crash in Vermont.
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