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This is a relaxation that has been eagerly awaited. Prime Minister Jean Castex announced on Monday that the health protocol in schools, denounced by both teachers and parents, would be simplified, with the use of self-tests, now free thanks to a certificate issued by the school.
Three simple self-tests for contact cases at school, without the need for antigen testing or PCR: the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, announced on Monday 10 January a relaxation of the health protocol in the face of the Covid-19 epidemic in schools. and the risk of chaos.
“Indeed, we see these queues, I’m a father, I see clearly what’s going on,” he told France 2’s 8 p.m. toes from the start of the course and that on Thursday a strike is looming on the horizon.
First evolution of the protocol that comes into force on Tuesday: parents will no longer have to pick up their child immediately after being in contact, but at the end of classes.
Then, while previously, each student identified as a case of contact had to undergo a PCR or antigen test immediately, a simple self-test should be performed, which should be repeated on D + 2 days. and D + 4.
All three self-tests will be free
The head of government also said that a single affidavit, certifying that the first self-test was negative, would be enough for an ongoing return.
All three self-tests will be free, thanks to a certificate issued by the school. But they will continue to be distributed only in pharmacies. Eleven million new kits will be delivered in a week.
While pharmacies and laboratories are overflowing with nasopharyngeal samples – about 1.5 million every day – Jean Castex, however, refused to change French doctrine in defense of this policy of mass testing, the abandonment of which would amount to to “break the thermometer.”
“Today there were 10,453 closed classes, that’s a lot, but at the same time it’s only 2%. We don’t close schools or the country,” he insisted.
The first reaction from Guislaine David, general secretary of Snuipp-FSU, the first primary school union, was very cool: “It’s a total disregard for teachers in the field. This relief will not do everything to reduce the number of teachers “Pollution at school, on the other hand, will be multiplied by ten, because now only a certificate of honor from the parents is needed,” he lamented.
The Prime Minister’s televised speech appeared as an attempt to quell the blaze between teachers and parents of students, as well as a new setback for the Minister of National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, weakened since the beginning of the year .
The previous protocol, announced only the day before the start of the course on January 3 in the press, had been criticized for its complexity.
Call for a national strike
Denouncing “an indescribable mess” in schools and “a strong sense of abandonment and anger among the staff”, the Snuipp-FSU called a national strike on Thursday 13 January “to achieve the conditions of a school insured under Omicron “, added. by most of the other teachers’ unions, SE-Unsa, Snes-FSU, Snalc, CGT Éduc’action, SUD Educació, FO and CFDT.
“Parents are turning into goats,” said Laurent Zameczkowski, vice president of the Peep Parents’ Federation, who lamented “the tests and pharmacies taken by assault.”
Jean-Michel Blanquer tried to amend on Friday, acknowledging a protocol “extremely difficult” to live with families and, “here and there, self-test depletion” in pharmacies, but that “usually, are refilled.”
However, the testimonies of hiccups have been numerous for several days: “Parental feedback is that there has been a big mess in the implementation of the new protocol,” although “they do not want schools to be closed.” he pointed out. Patrick Salaün, president of the Unaape (National Union of Autonomous Associations of Parents of Students).
Haro against Blanquer? The minister is – in private – criticized even within the macronie, some wonder about an attitude of bravado that is now perceived as a form of stubbornness.
On Monday evening during a trip to the Maritime Alps, before the Prime Minister’s intervention, Emmanuel Macron acknowledged “a very difficult situation for everyone”, calling for “solidarity, commitment and” demand “.