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Covid-19 at school: Jean-Michel Blanquer unveils the new health protocol planned for the start of the school year


While the executive is emphasizing prevention among the youngest in the face of a fifth wave of unprecedented magnitude, new tools are being put in place for the start of the January school year.

A new health protocol for a return to the heart of the fifth wave.

In an interview with



, the Minister of National Education outlined the new measures that will come into force on Monday, January 3 in schools to better fight against the spread of the virus while limiting class closings.

While France is experiencing record contamination rates, the minister is planning on a daily assessment of "

several thousand students

" tested positive at the start of the school year.

In this context, the objective is clear: "to

keep the school open in health conditions that are as secure as possible


  • Three possible tests per student

The first flagship measure of this new protocol, the strengthening of "

contact tracing


The government sees it as the most effective way to fight against the Omicron variant, which is particularly contagious and is now the majority in France.

This reinforced policy "

will involve the multiplication of tests and the participation of families in this mechanism based on accountability,

" said Jean-Michel Blanquer.

Read alsoCovid-19: are children "the engine of the fifth wave"?

The last protocol in force provided that as soon as a positive case appeared in a class, all the students underwent an antigen test or PCR, and presented a negative result to return to school. This measure remains in force, but now, "

when the family takes the first test, they will receive two free self-tests in the pharmacy, so that the students can test themselves again at home on D + 2 and D + 4

", explains the Minister. A measure that aims to better take into account the incubation period, while the virus, once transmitted, can take between three and five days before triggering the first symptoms.

In addition, to better control and empower parents, they "

will have to certify in writing that the tests have been done and that they are negative

", explains the Minister.

To ensure sufficient stocks of self-tests, which are in great demand for the holiday season, "

massive orders have been placed, in conjunction with the Ministry of Health


  • For teachers

Another point that worries the education sector: the absenteeism of teachers, subject to the same rules of strict isolation as the rest of the population in the event of contamination or contact with a positive person.

According to estimates by the Scientific Council, 30% of teachers could be positive cases or in custody of infected children at the start of the school year.

Admitting that the month of January promises to be "


", Jean-Michel Blanquer announces that "

vaccinated adults will apply the same protocol for iterative tests

" as that of children.

A measure that will prevent the "

isolation of people whose tests are negative

", according to the minister.

Read also Covid-19: Patrick Pelloux in favor of compulsory vaccination for children

Another measure to reduce the risk of massive absence, the suspension of any cause of absence other than Covid-19, "

for example, continuing education

", details the Minister.

This measure will be coupled with the recruitment of "

contract workers and individual contractors


In the first degree, the replacement capacity will thus increase "

from 9% to 12-15% depending on the academies

", he assures us.

  • Facilitate the vaccination campaign in schools

When vaccination was opened to adolescents last July, middle and high schools had set up vaccination centers within their structures. While the vaccine has just opened to all children from 5 years old, the minister affirms that "

each school is paired with a vaccination center

", but that there "

will be no barnum in schools like this was the case for middle and high schools

”. For the little ones, "

messages go to school heads and teachers

" to explain the vaccination methods, even if, recalls the Minister of National Education, it is "

the families who are called to make an appointment. you and accompany the children


In addition, he recalls, "

parental authorization

" will be necessary in all cases.

Read also Covid-19: Jean-Michel Blanquer plunges the school into the fog

  • No FFP2 masks

Faced with voices, especially on the right, who advocate the use of FFP2 masks, popular with our European neighbors, the minister rejects this option, arguing that it is "

very difficult to teach

" with them.

The "

teachers' spirit of responsibility

" and the application of "

barrier gestures

" are sufficient, he assures us.

  • No more standing cafes in the teachers' room, fewer gatherings

Jean Castex had announced, from Monday, January 3, the ban on drinking standing in bars and cafes, generating many taunts.

However, the teachers' rooms will not escape the rule: it will be forbidden to drink coffee there other than in a sitting position.


It is a consequence of general doctrine

", evaded the minister, questioned on the usefulness of such a measure.


But it's anecdotal, we focus on it to ironize the management of the crisis,

" he defended.

In addition, no galettes des rois, ceremonies of wishes or class councils to start 2022. "

The parent-teacher meetings will have vocation to take place at a distance

", invites the minister.

  • Deployment of CO₂ sensors

Asked about the possibility of accentuating the ventilation of the classes by CO₂ sensors, Jean-Michel Blanquer recalled that it was a "

competence of communities



This remains totally insufficient

", he lamented, stressing that the State has "

released 20 million euros

" to give a boost in this direction.


I appeal once again to the mayors for a ramp-up in this area, and this fund will be increased if necessary,

" he promises.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2022-01-02

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