Regional governments considering changes in schools after the holidays
Spanish Ministry of Health and regional governments will meet on January 4th
MadridThe exponential increase in contagions caused by the Omicron variant has forced the authorities to modify the detection and control measures. This week, the Ministry of Health agreed with the regional governments to shorten quarantines for infected people to seven days and now the next debate they will have to face is about measures in schools after the Christmas holidays. There are already some regions that have taken measures on their own and others that are still assessing them. In any case, the Ministry of Health has called a meeting on January 4 in which the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Universities, in addition to regional governments, will seek a consensus on new measures for the start of the second school term.
Catalonia, for the moment, has only confirmed that the date to return to schools will be kept: it will be January 10. Madrid, on the other hand, said that in view of the "sporadic" cases of covid detected in schools in Madrid, their contacts will not need to quarantine. In a statement, the Ministry of Health has added, however, that the Directorate General of Public Health will indicate how to act if outbreaks occur. They argue that the Omicron variant is "more infectious, but causes milder symptoms and a better clinical prognosis" and also recall that in the Community of Madrid 92% of people over 12 are vaccinated with the full guideline. Sources from the Madrid Department of Health say that schools in Madrid will begin to apply this measure when they return to classes.
Madrid had also tabled the possibility of a semi-presential return to classrooms, while regions such as Extremadura had also raised the option of delaying the return to schools after the holidays, an option to which Catalonia is opposed. All this will be discussed next week, and sources in the Ministry of Health point out that the aim is to reach a consensus on the measures with all regional governments and ministries involved so that the actions all go in the same direction. "I want to be very clear, the educational model of presentiality has been a success because the classrooms are safe," said the Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, during the press conference on Wednesday, when she appeared to explain the shortening of quarantines.