We would like to update our members on the revised school protocols designed for an eventual return to pre-Covid normality. Discussions on the latest protocols have taken place with the Minister of Education Hon. Justyne Caruana, Permanent Secretary Dr. Francis Fabri and Superintendent of Public Health Prof. Charmaine Gauci.
The UPE believes the vaccination programme and strict measures applied over the recent months have led and will continue to lead to a reduction in the transmission rate of Covid-19 among the general population. We are very much aware that although various measures are in place, a cautious approach is the way forward to prevent the number of positive corona cases from rising as new variants of the virus may appear.
The salient points in the new public health protocol for schools are as follows:
- All students from Kindergarten to Secondary level must wear a mask in class at all times (the same precaution as last year).
- Educators can now decorate their classrooms as was done in pre-Covid times.
- School outings can be held as long as the bubble is maintained at all times.
- Any gatherings held in school (assembly, mass, etc.) must respect the bubble protocol and must not exceed 30 minutes.
- Distance between students from Kindergarten up to Year 8 (Form 2) will remain at 1.5 metres where possible. Students from Year 9 to Year 11 (Form 3 to Form 5) will be required to keep one (1) metre apart.
- Educators who were considered vulnerable are to return to work since the legal notice (Legal Notice 111 of 2020 – The Protection of Vulnerable Persons Order 2020) shielding vulnerable workers has been rescinded . Any educator who still feels they are vulnerable due to a medical condition is to contact their employer or HR department to see what steps may be implemented to provide shielding.
- Quarantine for vaccinated educators and students is for a period of seven (7) days. A rapid test can be done on the seventh day and provided one presents a negative result to their Head of School the person may return to school. Educators who are in quarantine and are vaccinated are not obliged to take a rapid test and can opt to remain at home for fourteen (14) days.
- A fourteen (14) day quarantine period is in place for unvaccinated educators and students.
We at the UPE understand the uncertainty many of you feel in these difficult times. We would like to assure you that we will continue to remain vigilant during the coming weeks to ensure a smooth and safe return for all.
Should any union member have any further queries on this issue or any other, please contact us on 21221252/6/8, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guidlines for the Educational Sector up to Secondary Schools can be downloaded here