The physical reopening of schools should not be one of the first COVID-19 measures to be relaxed, the Malta Union of Teachers said on Monday.

In a statement, the union called for a “prudent” plan and not one that returned educators, students and their families to the situation they were in a few weeks ago.

Superintendent of Health Charmaine Gauci said a few days ago that the authorities were in the process of drafting a plan that would ease the country out of the quasi-lockdown currently in place until April 11.

The union said it had already expressed its thoughts and concerns to health and education authorities.

It noted that while, under the current regulations, no more than two people from different households could gather together, schools have 25 students and their educators in the same room for six hours.

Schools were closed when a virus variant caused the majority of positive cases in schools, sending hundreds of students, educators and families into quarantine, the MUT added.

This situation should be avoided because it had been detrimental to all, not least education, it said.

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