After their government-order shutdown over the novel coronavirus epidemic over a month ago, Macau’s schools will gradually reopen from April 13, the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau (DSEJ) announced on Friday.
According to the announcement, the phased restart will run from April 13 to May 4.
On April 13, it will be back to school for Form 4 to Form 6 pupils. However, Form 6 pupils preparing for their university admission exams can already return to school on March 30. Form 1 to Form 3 pupils are slated to return to school on April 20. Primary 4 to Primary 6 pupils are scheduled to back to school on April 27, while Primary 1 to Primary 3 pupils as well as special education, kindergarten and creche pupils are to be back on May 4. No date has yet been set for when the city’s universities and colleges will reopen.
Macau’s primary, secondary and tertiary education establishments as well as kindergartens und creches have been closed since the Chinese New Year holiday in late January.
The government has said that all pupils and teachers must wear facemasks, and they must have been in Macau in the two weeks prior to going back to school.
According to DSEC statistics for the 2019/20 school year, Macau has 77 schools with 81,730 pupils. Some 95 percent of Macau’s pupils attend private schools.
6th round of facemask sales
Meanwhile, the sixth round of the government-organised sale of facemasks at the fixed price of 8 patacas (US$1) for 10 masks began on Friday. So far, each round has lasted 10 days. Residents and non-resident workers are entitled to buy 10 masks every 10 days at the fixed price from designated pharmacies, health centres and community association outlets. They also can buy commercially priced masks from private businesses that are not subject to quantity limits.
Observers have noted that well over 90 per cent of pedestrians in Macau wear facemasks, which are mandatory to enter public administration premises and bank branches. Public transport also requires the use of facemasks by drivers and passengers.
Macau’s last two of a total of 10 COVID-19 cases were confirmed on February 4. The 10 patients – seven tourists from Wuhan and three locals – have meanwhile been discharged from hospital.
The Macau government has imposed strict entry, medical examination and quarantine rules on travellers.