School started on Monday (7 September) in the province of Bolzano and other regions in Italy. But while 8.5 million students are bracing for a return to school after six months of shutdown, central and regional authorities keep fighting over a plan that could prevent a new outbreak.
Addressing rumours over new quarantine measures, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said that despite the constant rise of new COVID-19 cases over the past month a nationwide lockdown is not being planned.
“We won’t have a new lockdown,” Speranza said recently, adding that “Italy’s national health service has become much stronger.”
Not only did the kindergarten in Vo’, a small town near Padua where the first COVID-19 related death was registered in February, reopen, but also in Milan, where almost 20,000 children will be back to school.
For all other regions, school will either start on 14 September, 16 September for Fiuli and on 24 September for Apulia and Calabria.
Other regions are considering postponing the start of the school year until after the national referendum, due to be held on 20 and 21 September, on a possible constitutional amendment.
However, numbers show that many slots for teachers remain vacant as it is assumed many of them would decline to work in the current health conditions.
(Alessandro Follis | EURACTIV.it)