Hundreds of thousands of New Zealand children returned to class on Monday as schools around the world continue to open as coronavirus blocking wears off.
Excited adolescents greeted classmates in cities like Wellington and Auckland for the first time in eight weeks after the parents dropped them off at the gate in “kiss and go zones” as part of strict social distance measures.
Schools in Austria, Belgium and Portugal also opened their doors on Monday for the first time in weeks, while more children were allowed to return to class in Greece.
Classes for students in France, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Australia, parts of Canada and China have already resumed as the global spread of disease has slowed.
Schools remain open during the pandemic in schools such as Iceland and Sweden.
However, Spain, Italy and the UK are more cautious – with a majority of children who are unlikely to see the inside of a classroom before September are warned that their education will be permanently damaged.
NEW ZEALAND: The school reopened on Monday as measures to block corona viruses weakened across the country. However, the parents were forbidden to come to the school premises and instead they should "kiss and go" at the gate (picture).
NEW ZEALAND: A mother says goodbye to her daughter at the gate of a school in Auckland after parents were prohibited from teaching their children to go to school as part of coronavirus social distance measures
BELGIUM: After the reopening of the Saint Boniface Parnasse institute in Brussels, young people raise their hands to a teacher wearing a protective mask
AUSTRIA: A student in a protective face mask watches his classmate wash her hands in a primary school in Brunn am Gebirge after the government has loosened the Corona virus
Where teaching resumed, students were taught social distance to slow the spread of the virus. Class sizes were cut in half, and teachers used sports stadiums and parks to maintain distance.
The parents were also denied access to the school premises. They should wave goodbye to their children at the gate and go quickly to avoid the formation of crowds.
This is how countries have brought young people all over the world back to class …
Education minister Chris Hipkins encouraged students to return to the classrooms on Monday when the schools reopened after the country fell to "Level 2" of its coronavirus warning system.
"Our message is that it is safe to send kids back to school. We want them to go back to school and catch up on any knowledge they lost during the ban," he told reporters.
He warned that returning to a noisy, busy environment after a challenging time would be a "culture shock" for children and parents – but insisted that this was the right thing to do.
Hundreds of thousands of children in New Zealand have been taught at home since March 24, the first full day of the country's coronavirus blockage, but have now been allowed to return to class after relief
Parents across New Zealand were encouraged by ministers to send their children back to school to make up for lost class time during the pandemic (pictured, a mother leads her daughter to school in Wellington).
Teachers put a welcome banner on the school gates in Auckland, New Zealand when classes resumed on Monday
In New Zealand, with five million inhabitants, 1,149 coronavirus cases and only 21 deaths were recorded. The success is largely due to a strict ban that was imposed at the end of March.
Most domestic restriction restrictions ended last Thursday, but extra time was given to schools because health protocols were difficult to implement for very young people.
This has led to a surge in polls for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. New data show that she has been the country's most popular leader for a century. The elections are scheduled to take place in September this year.
The survey data collected by the NZ Herald showed that 59.5 percent of people want them to remain at the top. This is an increase of 20.8 points since the last survey in February – when the coronavirus spread, but before the country went into the lockdown.
Instead of accompanying their children to class, parents dropped them into kiss-and-go zones, while early childhood centers recorded personal information needed for contact tracking.
Students' first lessons after returning to the classroom dealt with social distancing and hand washing while teachers tried to prevent a second wave of coronavirus infections
A teacher teaches one of her students at a school in Auckland on Monday about the importance of using hand sanitizers
Belgium took the next step on Monday to ease the blocking of the country's coronavirus. More and more students go to school and markets and museums are reopened.
Schools were allowed to run dry on Friday, but primary and secondary classes resumed for a real Monday with a limited number of students to ensure that social distancing was fully respected.
In many cases, distance learning on laptops remained the order of the day.
A teacher wearing a protective mask calls the students this morning at the reopening of the Saint Boniface Parnasse Institute in Ixelles, Belgium
Schoolchildren and teachers who wear face masks are at the reopening in Jumet outside a Francophone primary school on social distancing traces since a small proportion of Belgian children are returning to their schools today
Youngsters are listening this morning to a teacher wearing a protective mask after the high school of the Saint Boniface Parnasse Institute in Ixelles reopened
Hairdressers can also resume work, although Monday was their traditional day off. Both the hairdresser and the customer must wear protective masks.
Hoping to get the most out of the sunny weather, open-air markets can start selling plenty of spring fruits and vegetables.
And zoo animals that have had no visitors since March will see them again when the parks can be opened again. The museums are also reopening and, like the zoos, have a strict reservation system to avoid overcrowding.
A majority of Austrian schoolchildren returned to their classrooms on Monday after the students facing exams returned to the classrooms on May 4th.
Most classes are split in half, with some children being taught Monday through Wednesday and the rest Thursday and Friday. The classes are then exchanged every week.
Austria closed schools, bars, restaurants, non-essential shops and other meeting places at the beginning of its outbreak more than a month ago. The public was instructed to stay at home and work from there if possible.
The country has reported 16,296 cases of the virus and 629 deaths, with infection rates slowing in recent weeks, leading to calls for reopening.
It has already reopened DIY and garden centers as well as small shops, cafes and restaurants.
Children with protective face masks are walking down a corridor this morning in a primary school in Brunn am Gebirge, Austria, while the country's schools are reopening for students between the ages of six and 14
Back to work: Children with face masks sit in a classroom of a school in Brunn am Gebirge, Austria
A majority of Austrian schoolchildren returned to their classrooms on Monday after the students facing exams returned to the classrooms on May 4th
Most classes are split in half, with some children being taught Monday through Wednesday and the rest Thursday and Friday. The classes are then exchanged every week. This was the scene in a school in Brunn am Gebirge this morning
Greece reopened the Acropolis in Athens and other ancient sites on Monday, along with high schools, shopping malls, and mainland travel in the final round of pandemic relaxation eased in late March.
Pavement stickers were used as markers to keep visitors apart from the Acropolis apart while rotating online classes to keep the lesson capacity below 50%.
Public compliance with strict blocking measures helped keep the number of deaths at COVID-19 at 166, while the total number of confirmed cases on Sunday was 2,834.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis enters a classroom this morning while attending a secondary school in Athens. Greece reopened the Acropolis in Athens and other ancient sites on Monday, along with high schools, shopping malls, and mainland travel in the final round of pandemic relaxation eased in late March
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis speaks to a student while visiting a secondary school in Athens
However, the authorities are keen to reopen the important tourism sector after the EU Commission has warned that Greece is likely to suffer the worst recession in the bloc this year.
The public beaches were reopened over the weekend at heatwave temperatures, with the government imposing strict distance rules. However, overcrowding occurred in buses from Athens to the nearby coast.
Travel to the Greek islands remains largely restricted.
High schools and kindergartens were allowed to reopen on Monday, along with the terraces of restaurants, bars and cafes, while the country continued to relax its coronavirus block.
It comes when, after the government's positive assessment of the development of its COVID-19 outbreak, Portugal has entered the second phase of reducing the restriction measures.
The first phase of the reopening process started last month with small shops and companies like hairdressers.
Students with protective face masks sit in a D. Pedro V High School classroom this morning, while 11th and 12th grade students return to schools under strict restrictions during the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Lisbon, Portugal
High schools and kindergartens were allowed to reopen on Monday, along with the terraces of restaurants, bars and cafes, while the country continued to relax its coronavirus block. Pictured: Students in Lisbon use hand sanitizers this morning
As in other European countries, reopening depends on social distancing measures remaining in place.
Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa also announced the plan to reopen the beaches on June 6. Social distance restrictions must exist, with a maximum capacity for each beach.
The government announced that citizens can check the current capacity of each beach online or through a mobile phone application.
The children returned to school on Monday as secondary schools in regions with low virus transmission rates were allowed to return to class.
It comes after kindergartens and kindergartens reopened last week with social distancing after the spread of the coronavirus slowed.
Schoolchildren wearing face masks and face masks are attending a class in their classroom at Claude Debussy College in Angers, western France, this morning
French children returned to school on Monday (see picture), as middle schools in regions with low virus transmission rates were allowed to return to class
This was the scene in the French city of Angers this morning, when schoolchildren and teachers wore protective masks and queued up to enter Claude Debussy College
A teacher checks the body temperature of a schoolgirl wearing a protective face mask before entering Claude Debussy College in Angers, western France, this morning
Class size was limited to 15 middle school students and 10 younger classes, instructing teachers to prioritize learning for children ages 5, 6, and 10.
However, attending school is not yet mandatory, and many parents have decided to continue teaching their children at home until the virus continues to subside.
Some classes have been resumed for students in the Far East of Russia, although the country now has one of the fastest growing infection rates in any country.
According to Moscow health authorities, 77 people with coronavirus have died in the city in the last 24 hours, the highest daily number for the Russian capital.
With a total of more than 146,000 confirmed infections and 1,580 deaths, Russia's capital is currently responsible for more than half of the country's virus cases and 58% of all reported deaths.
Russia's case count exceeded 290,000 on Monday, with the death toll exceeding 2,700. The country's comparatively low mortality rate has raised questions in the West. Experts believe that Russia may not report deaths sufficiently.
Russian officials vehemently deny these allegations and attribute the relatively low number of Covid 19 deaths to measures taken by the country to curb the spread of the virus.
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