Italian PM, schools will reopen Monday

 ROME – The school year will begin regularly on Sept. 14 and take place in complete safety, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said at a press conference addressing the concerns of parents and teachers about coronavirus safety.

 “There will be some changes, some new rules will be added to the usual ones. Returning to class is safe and is and will be the beacon of this government,” Prime Minister Conte said.

 New rules include the wearing of masks indoors until the student is seated.

 If a distance of one metre between classmates and two metres between student and teacher cannot be maintained, the mask is to stay on.

 “Italian families must not doubt: we have done our utmost to give the children the best and to give the school a new start,” Mr Conte said.

 “There will be a staggered timetable to avoid gatherings, this will be decided by the school managers,” he said. “The schools already have sufficient quantities of gels and masks to face the first days.

 “We have arranged for the delivery of 11 million free surgical masks for students and staff.”

 Mr Conte has ruled out another lockdown but says – "We are sure there will be infections at school, but we are ready to face them."

 In a worst-case scenario, the premier warns an entire classroom of students could be quarantined.