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Schools Reopen As Stage 2 Lockdown Exit Begins

It's the first day back in the classroom for thousands of Guernsey children.

Schools have reopened to all students for the first time since 22 January.

Pupils in Year 9 and below are returning to class today, while those in Year 10 and above will go back to school on Tuesday.

Safety measures have been introduced to protect against the spread of Covid-19.  

* Classroom bubbles for primary schools and Years 7-9 in Secondary, with year-group bubbles for older students.

* The recommended use of face-coverings for older students and staff

*  One-metre social distancing, wherever this is possible 

* Staggered start and finish times                                                                                                                                

* Enhanced cleaning regime for education setting.

* Limited school transport service to minimise contact between students

* A specific Public Health testing strategy for staff in education, as well of for some students.

Education, Sport and Culture Committee President Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen said education settings would look and feel very different, but that everything has been done to make them as safe as possible.

She encouraged all children to return to class and said the government would not be reopening them unless it felt it was safe to do so.

The reopening of schools coincides with Guernsey's move to Stage 2 of its exit from lockdown.

Non-essential shops have reopened, along with restaurants and pubs which can serve meals to tables of up to 10 diners.

Four households can form a bubble, and islanders can spend an unlimited amount of time outdoors.

Social gatherings of up to 20 indoors and 30 outdoors are permitted, but not in private homes or gardens.

Gyms can reopen, but cannot offer group lessons.  Public toilets have reopened.  

Social distancing and mask-wearing remains in place.

As of Sunday 7 March, there were five known active cases of Covid-19 in Guernsey and the Bailiwick had gone eight days without a new diagnosis of the infection.

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