School, university openings a COVID 'time bomb' – experts warn

More high school and university students return to class today, but with the PES level going up, how long will they be allowed to stay?

Tom Lane

Written by Tom Lane
Published on 07.12.2020 09:13 (updated on 07.12.2020)

High school and university students are set to return to class this week across the Czech Republic but some experts are warning this could lead to a worsening of the pandemic.

The PES level was reduced to the third level last Thursday, lifting many restrictions, allowing shops, restaurants, bars and hairdressers to reopen.

However on Sunday, the PES anti-epidemic index score rose by seven points to 64, which, should it continue to be above 60 for three days, could lead to tougher restrictions being implemented once again.

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has its own PES system with schools potentially going into the third level, meaning high school students and first-year students of colleges and universities can return.

Virologist Libor Grubhoffer, told News List that despite students just now being able to return, due to the PES level changing, schools may be forced to close once again.

"If the level 4 PES score lasts for a few days, the schools are likely to close again."

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Another Immunologist Václav Hořejší, has warned that the opening of secondary schools and universities could lead to an increase in the spread of COVID.

“I can't say whether the opening will contribute five percent or thirty, but the role in the spread of the disease in students is that they are mostly asymptomatic, it's a time bomb. Children from secondary school to university often show no signs of infection and are mild. They don't know they have it and spread it further."

Students will have to wear face masks or other materials to cover their nose and mouth in school buildings except for kindergartens and special schools.