Covid-19: masks, tests… ways to ease the health protocol at school

The lifting of several restrictive measures should be discussed on Tuesday, during a meeting between the trade union organizations and the ministries of Health and Education.

16,836 classes closed, 410,000 pupils infected over seven days… If the figures continue to be impressive, “there is a small downtrendof the Covid-19 epidemic at school, welcomed the Minister of National Education Jean-Michel Blanquer, Friday February 4 on Sud Radio. A slight regression but sufficient to reflect on a reduction of the protocol as soon as “back to school in February“, as Prime Minister Jean Castex announced on January 20. In this sense, a meeting between the trade union organizations and the Ministries of Health and Education will be held on Tuesday, February 8, to study the various possible avenues.

We need to understand what the public health approach is and how“, summarizes for Le Figaro Stéphane Crochet, Secretary General of SE-UNSA. “The idea is to have elements of scientific understanding of the measurements, but also to have the assurance that the communication of this information will allow a serene implementation“, he adds. Overall, caution is the key word. “ If we lighten the measures, but in 15 days the contamination increases, we will have lost everything “Warns Guislaine David, spokesperson for SNUipp-FSU, who also insists on the need for guarantees”scientists“.

SEE ALSO – Covid-19: Jean-Michel Blanquer reveals a figure in “slight decrease» with 16,836 classes closed

End of the mask outside and return of class mixing?

On CNews on Sunday evening, Jean-Michel Blanquer wanted to be reassuring in any case: “It’s too early to give definitive measurements tonight, but it will be during the coming week.“. The Minister of National Education mentioned in particular:the hope of going to level 2 in primary“, which implies in particular “the end of wearing a mask outside“. “It could allow students to go gradually, it can be a first step“, welcomes Guislaine David. “The alleviation of constraints on sports practicewas also mentioned by the minister. Indoor sport, suspended since December 9, could thus make a comeback.

Since December 9 and the transition to level 3 of the protocol, mixing by level and by class has been limited. But this measure could also be relaxed, to avoid the closure of classes. In the event of a teacher’s absence, students can again be divided into other classes instead of being sent home. With “10% of teachers absent mainly due to Covid“, as Jean-Michel Blanquer mentioned on CNews, the lack of teachers is a real problem. But the minister was pleased to have “succeeded in creating a pool of substitutes of 8 to 11%» of the total workforce.

The simplified screening policy?

The screening policy, which is particularly restrictive, could also change in the coming days. Currently, a contact case student must perform a self-test, and present the negative result to return to class, before doing a new one on D + 2 and D + 4, while remaining in class. The unions hope that one of them can jump. “We have the impression that the test at D-0 detects cases, that that at D+4 also, but that that at D+2 is useless“says Stéphane Crochet. A track cautiously confirmed by Jean-Michel Blanquer on CNews: “One can imagine going from three to two. This is one of the things that will be discussed as well […] but for the moment, it is not a certainty“.

For Guislaine David, on the other hand, it is necessary to completely change the current policy, whichworks very badly“. And the SNUipp-FSU spokeswoman goes further than her confers: “We will insist during the meeting to return to saliva tests once a week“.


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