Schools reopen in most of Italy

Some 5.6 million pupils back in class for first time in 6 months

(ANSA) - ROME, SEP 14 - Schools reopened in much of Italy on Monday for the first time since the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in early March.
    Some 5.6 million pupils are back in class in 12 regions, plus the autonomous province of Trento.
    The reopening of Italy's schools is a big test for the State and for Premier Giuseppe Conte's government.
    "There will be difficulties," Conte said.
    "I thank the teachers and the school principals.
    "I thank the families, who have made many sacrifices".
    President Sergio Mattarella will inaugurate the school year later on Monday in Vo', a Veneto town that was one of Italy's first coronavirus hotspots.
    Pupils must be at least one metre apart from each other while in class.
    They are allowed to lower their facemasks during lessons.
    Pupils at some schools where it is not possible to respect the one-metre rule, however, will have to wear masks throughout the day.
    Education Minister Lucia Azzolina said 94 million masks have been sent to Italy's schools.
    "The students have a great desire to go back to class and reacquire sociality," Azzolina told RAI television.
    "This year will be complex and we know that.
    "But we have worked hard and constructed a prevention strategy that will function if everyone does their bit with responsibility". (ANSA).


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