Schools will reopen on February 8, but only in districts under lower tier alert

Negative test will be required from parents and older pupils.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: TASR)

Kindergartens, special schools and grades one to four of primary schools will reopen on February 8. In-person classes will also be allowed to the final grades of secondary schools.

In addition, the cabinet agreed on opening art schools for individual classes, secondary medical schools and their dormitories.

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Attendance for in-person education will have the condition of a negative test result.

On Friday, the cabinet corrected its decision.

In the black districts (alert 4), schools will remain closed. These are Partizánske, Šaľa, Zlaté Moravce, Revúca, Rožňava, Bánovce nad Bebravou, Hlohovec, Trnava, Žiar nad Hronom as of Feburary 5.

In the dark red regions (alert 3), regional public health authorities will decide about opening schools. Bratislava is in this tier now.

Parents who do not want to send their children to school are allowed to keep them in home-schooling.

Who will need a test?

  • Younger children going to kindergartens and grades one to four of primary schools will not have to take a test. A negative test result no older than seven days will be required from one of their parents. Parents will have to show a declaration that one of them has been tested.
  • Secondary school students will have to show a negative test result no older than seven days before attending in-person classes.
  • The same goes for the school employees, including teachers.

The children of parents who decide not to get tested will have to stay home and continue with distance education. These parents will not be entitled to the pandemic benefit for taking care of a family member (or pandemic OČR).

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There will be no condition for parents to be tested before schools open. The deadline can be prolonged based on the possibilities of municipalities. Education Minister Branislav Gröhling (SaS) wants to discuss more details with school administrations.

The ministry has already ordered 350,000 antigen tests for pupils, parents and school staff. The testing will be secured by the district authorities, which will receive from the state €5 per one tested person.

Gargling tests cannot be used for now as they first have to be approved by the cabinet.

Dormitories open only for secondary medical schools

The cabinet agreed on opening dormitories operated by secondary medical schools, and under the following conditions:

  • There will have to be one person per room.
  • Students who will not be placed in a dormitory have to either commute or continue with distance education.

Other changes

  • The Education Ministry does not plan to cancel spring holidays, which will be held as originally planned. Still, the ministry plans to open spring schools, which will provide voluntary education of some pupils during the spring holidays.
    • February 15-19: central Slovakia (i.e. Žilina Region, Banská Bystrica Region and Trenčín Region);

    • February 22-26: eastern Slovakia (i.e. Prešov Region and Košice Region);

    • March 1-5: western Slovakia (i.e. Bratislava Region, Trnava and Nitra Region).

  • The oral part of a school leaving exam (maturita) will be held in restricted form.
  • The external part of the maturita exam (i.e. test) was cancelled. The ministry is considering cancelling the composition part as well.
  • There will be no testing of fifth graders. The testing of ninth-graders is postponed to June.

Read more about coronavirus in Slovakia:

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