ATHENS – Setting aside warnings from some health officials that schools could be superspreaders for the raging Omicron Variant, classes resumed in Greece on Jan. 10 despite at least 14,000 students infected with COVID-19 and kept out.
The report came from SKAI, quoting unidentifed sources in the Education Ministry which authorized the reopening after saying it would be safer to have students, staff and teachers controlled environments being tested three times weekly.
Those, however, are self-tests – two paid by the state – with no way of verifying if the person presenting them took them as the New Democracy government is gambling on the schools starting again during the pandemic.
Government spokesman Ioannis Oikonomou told Mega TV the day before that, “Children are more protected inside the school environment than outside it,” where they could gather in public spots with friends, such as cafes.
At-home diagnostic tests are mandatory for pupils and teachers, regardless of their vaccination status and must be presented before being admitted although the schools have some anti-vaxxer elements among them.
Other health measures are in force – including for universities where there have been reports they’re not followed – such as wearing masks and staying safe social distances which have largely been ignored in society.