MADRID – Masks will be mandatory for all students in Spain, ages 6 or older, when returning to schools in September because of increased coronavirus cases, the government announced Thursday.
The measure will be adopted by the country’s 17 regions, which manage education autonomously.
It’s part of a series of standardized guidelines agreed upon in a meeting with central authorities. Previously, masks were only required for students above age 12 by some Spanish regions.
Students will receive a daily body temperature check, must wash hands at least five times per day and classrooms will need frequent ventilation, the government said.
“Bubble-classrooms,” where students only socialize with a limited number of peers, will be key to identifying contacts. That allows localized quarantines if there’s a positive test, rather than closing entire schools.
Parents and teachers have expressed concern, with new waves of outbreaks since the country emerged from a strict lockdown.