8 April: Current coronavirus restrictions in kindergartens and schools to remain in effect until 16 April
Press release: The coronavirus restrictions currently being implemented in kindergartens and schools will remain in effect in the week of 12–16 April.
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- The content of this press release may be out of date. See Advice and rules in the City of Oslo for the measures that apply.
“We are postponing the reopening date because the status of infection after Easter is unstable and undetermined, with a high risk of renewed lockdown,” says Inga Marte Thorkildsen (Socialist Left Party), Vice Mayor for Education in Oslo.
It had been indicated before Easter that a relaxation from the red risk level for all could begin on Monday, 12 April.
“It is important that schools and kindergartens have time for an effective, planned and safe start-up with new public health measures,” says Thorkildsen.
This means that students at high schools, lower secondary schools and primary school years 5–7 in seven city boroughs will study from home for another week.
“We want to keep schools and kindergartens open as long as it is safe, even when the level of infection is high. But we need to receive confirmation that the infection rate is not surging after Easter,” says Thorkildsen.
The Vice Mayor recognises that schools and kindergartens need foreseeability to plan, and indicates that the risk level could remain at red for some time to come, if the rate of infection remains at its current high level and until mass testing is in place.
“We will naturally be monitoring the situation all the time. However, as it now stands, I cannot envisage moving to an amber risk level in the immediate future. The most important thing now is to avoid closing schools altogether,” she says.
“A red risk level means open schools, even though it also means reduced attendance for many,” Thorkildsen explains. “Nevertheless, students have the chance to meet regularly and experience what home-schooling cannot provide: social interaction with their peers, contact with a teacher and other adults outside the home who are important to them. A degree of normality, despite everything. A red risk level can also mean that fewer people have to go into quarantine and lower the risk of further lockdowns. For that reason, it can be a wise move when the rate of infection is at a consistently high level,” she adds.
New national coronavirus guidelines were published just before Easter. It will be necessary to interpret and specify several elements in the guidelines in more detail. Efforts to do so are currently well underway, but some of the new advice will prove challenging with respect to group sizes and staffing levels. It will therefore be some time before everything is clarified and all measures put in place.
“Some primary schools and kindergartens could remain closed where the situation makes it necessary,” says Inga Marte Thorkildsen.
According to Oslo’s Vice Mayor for Education, efforts are underway to establish a mass-testing scheme for high-school students as soon as these schools reopen for physical tuition. Testing will start with the oldest students. Expanding the scheme to other year groups will then be evaluated. Face masks are being procured for employees and students who wish to use them. Further details will be announced later.
The following will continue to apply from 12 April:
- Kindergartens will operate at the red level.
- Primary schools (years 1–4 city-wide and years 5–7 at schools in boroughs without fully online tuition) will operate at the red level.
- Fully online tuition for pupils in years 5–7 at all schools in the city boroughs Grorud, Stovner, Alna, Bjerke, Gamle Oslo, Grünerløkka and Søndre Nordstrand.
- Fully online tuition at lower secondary schools, high schools and adult education establishments throughout Oslo.
All status reports from Oslo city council on coronavirus outbreak