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No more temperature checking, divides at cafeteria in new semester

No more temperature checking, divides at cafeteria in new semester

Posted February. 11, 2023 07:14,   

Updated February. 11, 2023 07:14


Students will no longer be required to get their temperatures checked when entering school and will be allowed to eat meals at the cafeteria with no separators on the table in place from the new semester in March. Students were previously obliged to conduct a self-test using a smartphone application before heading to school, but only students with symptoms will now be required to take the test.

The education ministry announced Friday a plan for quarantine measures for kindergartens, elementary, middle, and high schools, and special schools for the 2023 first semester, which includes the new measures. As the education ministry has determined the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic is now behind us, it has eased quarantine measures at school after lifting the obligation to wear facemasks indoors. “You can say that we have returned to the pre-pandemic ‘social rules,’” Vice Education Minister Chang Sang-yoon said. “It is still not complete normalization of life or returns to pre-pandemic normality, but we have lifted regulations that could pose obstacles to education activities.”

Previously, all students, teachers, and school workers were required to get their body temperature checked before entering school, but the measure will be abolished from the new semester. Table divides at school cafeterias will also be removed from the new semester. However, schools may require students to have their temperature checked and to keep table divides in the cafeteria at their own discretion by considering epidemic situations.

Students and teachers will be encouraged to self-check with the smartphone application for Covid-19 only when they have symptoms, including fever or sore throat. Previously all students, teachers, and school workers had to self-check using the app, but critics have said the measure was inefficient when considering the manual burden involved. Classroom windows had to be kept open all the time before, but they will need to be opened only three times a day for more than 10 minutes each time for ventilation.

With lifting of the indoor facemask requirement in January, students will no longer be obliged to wear the mask except for specific situations, including school buses. When a reporter commented that facemask-wearing is still compulsory at certain educational institutions, Vice Minister Chang said, “It takes time for parents to dispel concern.” As before, students with symptoms using the same classroom as a student who has been confirmed as a Covid-19 case will be obliged to take the rapid antigen test.