Christmas vacation may start sooner for students, says Ministry of Health

Officials are considering extending school holidays in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus.

Samantha Tatro

Written by Samantha Tatro
Published on 11.12.2020 11:15 (updated on 11.12.2020)

The Ministry of Education may extended Christmas holidays due to the COVID-19 epidemic, though schools may need to close sooner if stricter anti-COVID measures are put into place, according to multiple reports.

Education Minister Robert Plaga said the changes will be decided during Monday's government meeting.

If health officials decide to move the Czech Republic to the fourth level of PES and tighten restrictions, schools will be impacted. However, schools will be informed in advance about whatever changes will need to be made, the Ministry of Education said.

"In the event of a deterioration of the situation, and thus a transition to level four (system) of the PES, the measures should also apply to schools," spokeswoman of the Ministry of Education, Aneta Lednová, told ČTK. According to her, in the event of stricter measures, schools will primarily follow the instructions for the given degree, which they already have available. "As always, we will inform them about possible partial adjustments or timing in time, via data boxes," she said.

School children may get extra vacation time, too, depending on how Monday's meeting goes.

Christmas holidays for children in school are set to start on Wednesday, Dec. 23 and end on Sunday, January 3. However, according to Health Minister Jan Blatný, one proposal on the table would start holidays on Friday, Dec. 18 instead.

As for the extension of the Christmas holidays, according to Ledová, this is a considered option. "The agreement between the Minister of Education and Health is that on Monday there will be up-to-date data on the development of the epidemic and the incidence of COVID-19 in individual segments.

"The Minister of Education will consider extending the holidays so that the last day of attendance is Friday, December 18. I don't want to anticipate the decision, he has to communicate it with the school management and with his ministry," said Blatný. 

In October, all school children were sent home to pursue distance learning. Starting on Nov. 18, children gradually began to return to school in limited numbers.