Covid-19 in Bulgaria: Order makes mask-wearing mandatory in schools for 5th to 12th graders

Written by on November 19, 2020 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Covid-19 in Bulgaria: Order makes mask-wearing mandatory in schools for 5th to 12th graders

Bulgaria’s Education Minister Krassimir Vulchev has issued an order making it mandatory for teachers and fifth to 12th-grade pupils to wear protective masks in class.

The order also requires all pupils, school staff and visitors to wear a mask when using indoor common areas of schools, such as the entrance halls, corridors, staircases, dining halls (except during meals), restrooms or libraries. Masks are also mandatory outdoors on school premises where pupils from separate classes are mingling.

Exceptions are made for primary school teachers (first through fourth grade) if they teach only one class and can maintain a distance of more than 1.5 metres from pupils; outdoors on school premises if the teacher and pupils from one class only can maintain 1.5 metres social distancing; for pupils performing tasks that might be obstructed by masks, such as physical exercise or oral exams.

An exception from mandatory mask-wearing is also made for pupils with valid medical reasons, backed by a medical document, not to wear face coverings.

The order makes it possible to make mask-wearing mandatory for primary school pupils if the school’s teacher council makes it so for all classes, while an individual teacher can make it so for their classes only.

Schools should allow pupils to take a “break” from mask-wearing outside class hours outdoors or indoors with windows wide open, if weather conditions allow, as well as during classes with windows wide open, if the individual teacher allows it.

The order comes shortly after both Vulchev and Health Minister Kostadin Angelov backed the proposal on November 19.

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