The Director of Education and the Chief Medical Officer were invited to Cabinet to discuss the policy affecting the opening of schools and to provide advice.
The Cabinet determined, after consultations, that all Secondary School students eligible for the Pfizer vaccine, or of ages 12 to 18 years, and all secondary school-teachers and ancillary staff who have received at least one dose of any two-dose vaccine, are to return to face-to-face classrooms commencing Monday, 4 October 2021.
The opening of the government secondary schools will be phased, as determined by the Ministry of Education.
The training of temporary teachers has begun, and will continue until the trainees reach sufficient competency levels, should they be required.
All Primary Schools will close immediately, despite the Regulations which allowed for them to open on the condition that all teachers and staff are vaccinated; an opening date is not yet determined but the decision will be examined again in two weeks.
The decision today was based upon the number of unvaccinated people and the number of Covid-19 infected people in the wider population; fearing that those below 12 years-old may come into contact with infected persons and in turn bring the infection into the classroom, compelled the decision.
Those below 12 years are not eligible for any of the available vaccines. Teaching by distance learning is to continue for these students, both public and private.
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