“Our infection numbers for the school-age group are already significantly higher than a year ago, when, as you know, we had to close schools from mid-December,” Heinz-Peter Meidinger, the president of the German Teachers’ Union, told RND on Wednesday.
Meidinger argued that another school closure must be avoided “at all costs.” He called for the return of the mask requirements at elementary schools, and said that keeping up regular testing is also important.
The teachers’ union chief expressed hope that a vaccine will be approved for children aged five to 11, as did the lobby group German Child Protection League (DKSB).
Several German states have relaxed or lifted mask mandates at schools in recent weeks. On Tuesday, the minister-president of Schleswig-Holstein, Daniel Gunther, announced that, in “another step towards normality,” students will no longer have to wear masks in class starting from November.
The easing of quarantine rules comes as Germany’s pandemic-related state of emergency, which has been in place since March 2020, is set to expire on November 25.