The ministry has set up a four-tier system to do this, with different rules for wearing a mask, playing sports and social distancing at each level.
All schools in mainland France will start at level 2, or yellow notation, for the upcoming school year, which begins on September 2.
The levels are:
Level 1 / green
Level 2 / yellow
Level 3 / orange
Level 4 / red
The protocol below is either general or level 2 rules specific. To see an overview of the rules for all other levels, see our quick guide graphic at the end of the article.
A Covid health pass will not be required to enter schools for students, parents or teachers.
Nursery and primary school 3-10 years old:
Children under 12 cannot be vaccinated against Covid-19. This means that if a student in the class tests positive for Covid, the entire class will be closed for seven days.
High school (11-14 year old middle school and 14-16 year old school):
Any student who tests positive for Covid will have to stay at home for a period of seven days.
For other students in the class or who have been identified as having been in close contact with the student who tested positive, the situation varies depending on whether or not they have been vaccinated:
- Any student who has been vaccinated against Covid or who has had Covid in the past two months will be able to continue their face-to-face lessons. Parents / guardians will need to provide a letter / note stating that their child has been vaccinated. The immunization status of a person can be checked by Health Insurance.
- Any student who is not fully immunized should stay home for a period of seven days and continue their courses remotely.
There is an exception for 6th grade (7th grade) students, as this grade kids are often not yet 12 years old. This means that if one of the students in the class tests positive for Covid-19, the whole class will be closed for seven days.
Sports and physical activities
Level 2 / yellow level: Physical and sporting activities should be practiced normally outdoors.
When indoor activities are necessary (bad weather, availability of facilities, etc.), students must maintain a distance of two meters between them.
Wash one’s hands
School protocol states that hand washing is essential for students.
It should consist of washing all parts of the hands with soap and water for 30 seconds.
Drying should be done carefully, using a disposable paper towel if possible.
Hydroalcoholic gel can be used as an alternative.
Hand washing should be done under close adult supervision for elementary school children.
All students should wash their hands at the following times:
- On arrival at school
- Before and after each meal
- Before and after the break or lunch
- After going to the bathroom
- In the evening before coming home or upon arrival home
Hand washing in the sinks can be done without measuring the physical distance between students in the same class or group.
Preschool children do not need to wear masks.
Wearing a mask is compulsory for all elementary and secondary students when they are inside. Outside, they must follow the rules in force for the general public.
They must wear a category 1 mask with more than 90% filtration. This includes most store bought masks or disposable surgical masks.
Read more: Which mask should I wear?
School protocol specifies that it is up to parents or guardians to provide masks to their children.
The Ministry of National Education provides all schools with a supply of masks that can be distributed to students who do not have one.
When students are not wearing their masks (when they are outdoors or playing sports, etc.), they should be hung up individually and in an isolated location, or folded (not rolled up) and placed in a pouch or dedicated bag.
Arrival and movement of students
The arrival and departure of pupils from and to the school may be staggered. This organization obviously depends on the number of pupils registered, the staff present and the possibilities of adapting school transport, including that of pupils with disabilities.
Movement of pupils within schools should be limited, organized and supervised as much as possible. For this reason, it is recommended to allocate each class its own room (apart from specialized rooms and workshops).
Breaks and lunches will be organized by group, from level 2 / yellow level.
In kindergarten, there is no need for distance between students in the same group (class, group of classes or levels), whether in closed spaces (classroom, corridors, etc.) or in outdoor spaces. .
In elementary and secondary school, students should aim to maintain a distance between themselves of at least one meter in indoor spaces (if possible).
This does not apply to outdoor spaces between students of the same class or the same group.
Between grades 2 to 4, social distancing should be maintained between students of different classes or groups.
Lunch / food
The school should try to organize itself so that students eat in the same groups and at the same tables each day.
From September 30, students aged 12 and over will have to present a Covid health pass in places where both schools and the public are present (museums for example).
The health record is not compulsory in places where a time slot has been reserved exclusively for school use (swimming pools for example).
The Education Ministry has yet to comment on the fact that Covid testing will soon cost money, potentially altering the principle of equality at school.
Each school should have a detailed plan for communicating the spread of Covid-19 in the school to parents, students and staff.
Parents / Guardians
Parents / guardians should be kept informed:
- School conditions and measures taken in relation to Covid-19
- Their role in respecting barrier gestures, such as hand washing and social distancing
- Their role in monitoring their children for symptoms of Covid-19 – their temperature must be below 38 ° C
- The need to declare if their child is positive for Covid-19 or if someone in their household is positive for Covid-19
- What to do if their child or another student in their child’s class or social group is positive for Covid-19
- The organization to drop off and pick up their children
Are you wondering about the # re-entry2021 of your children? We answer them!
YES, all students are welcome
NO, the health pass is not compulsory
More info on the health protocol, barrier gestures, vaccination https://t.co/4kLO3qEXBz#Covid19
– Ministry of National Education, Youth and Sports (@education_gouv) August 20, 2021
You can read the government’s Covid-19 protocol for the upcoming academic year at this link here.
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