Distance learning will come to an end from Monday when it will once again be obligatory for children in Austria to attend school.
This means that parents will need to provide a doctor’s note or ask for permission if they want to keep children home from school, after this requirement was lifted during the peak of the Omicron wave.
However, the obligation to test three times a week and wear a mask when not seated at a desk will remain in force.
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The news about the end to distance learning was announced on Monday by Minister of Education Martin Polaschek from the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) following recommendations by the Committee of the National Covid Crisis Coordination (GECKO).
The requirement for a class to close if Covid-19 cases are discovered will also come to an end from February 28th. Currently, a class is placed on distance learning after two cases are detected within three days of each other.
This rule had already been modified in Vienna where schoolchildren who are vaccinated or recovered can still go to school even if two cases in a class are detected.
In the future, decisions on school closures as a result of Covid-19 outbreaks will be taken by the health authorities in federal states.
Additionally, from February 28th, external people such as sports trainers will be allowed to enter schools and, from March 5th, vaccinated and recovered teachers will be able to teach without wearing a mask.