Israel’s Schools Return to Normal on Sunday

YERUSHALAYIM -
(Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

The Education Ministry published on Friday the framework for returning to “normal” full-time schooling on Sunday. Studies will resume six days per week without capsules – and with no restriction on the movement of teachers, aides or students.

Schools will still be required to adhere to Health Ministry guidelines, such as wearing masks, adhering to personal hygiene, ventilating classrooms, and keeping as much distance as possible during breaks and when gathering in common areas.

Students will no longer be required to wear masks in open spaces, while eating or during gym class.

A report last week by the Education Ministry showed that there has been a 30% decrease in basic skills among first- through third-graders.

Students have decreased motor and physical skills as well, and school counselors reported that a third of students were suffering from emotional distress.

A separate survey, conducted by Prof. Michal Grinstein-Weiss of Washington University and the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya together with Prof. Rami Benvenisti of Hebrew University, showed that one in five children are suffering from symptoms of anxiety.

Meanwhile, Health Ministry Director General Professor Chezy Levy officially amended public health guidelines regarding face masks in public spaces.

As of Sunday, there will be no need to wear a mask outdoors in a public area. However, the Health Ministry emphasized that it nevertheless advises that people continue to wear masks during gatherings, even in open areas.

Enclosed public spaces still require face masks.