French contact case kids must present 2 negative tests before returning to school

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Pupils in primary school classes where a positive case of Covid has been diagnosed will have to present at least two negative tests, several days apart - as opposed to one at present - to return to school.

On Monday, French Prime Minister Jean Castex underlined that the start of the 2022 school year will take place as planned on 3rd of January, but Covid-19 screening will be extended in schools, adding that the closure of schools would be the government's "last resort".

Speaking on France Inter this Tuesday, Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said that a new protocol will be implemented from January, when at least two tests will be required for children to return to class following potential contact cases.

The protocol currently in place since November no longer provides for the closure of a class as soon as the first case is detected.

In primary schools - when there is a positive case - children only return to the classroom once they have a single, negative test.

Record numbers in France

Meanwhile, Health Minister Olivier Véran added that "if new data were to emerge in France or abroad" on the impact of the Omicron variant on children, the government could be led "to take all useful measures to protect them".

More than 100,000 new cases were recorded on Saturday, 25th of December, a figure unseen since the start of the pandemic, against a backdrop of record numbers of tests carried out during the holiday season.

Before the Christmas holidays, 3,150 classes were closed in France due to the epidemic.

Blanquer explained that the above figure highlighted that out of the 400,000 tests proposed in primary schools each week, only 200,000 were carried out, "because we only have 50% acceptance from parents."

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