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Education Ministry eases restrictions for students

A child is being tested of COVID-19 at a makeshift testing center in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, Monday. (Yonhap)
A child is being tested of COVID-19 at a makeshift testing center in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, Monday. (Yonhap)
Unvaccinated students living with confirmed COVID-19 patients will be allowed to attend in-person classes staring March 14, as part of the Ministry of Education’s new guidelines announced Monday.

Schools will not penalize students’ COVID-19-related absences from the new semester onward. Also, from March 14, students can attend classes in person even if their family member has been infected with COVID-19.

The Ministry of Education announced more details to its response against the omicron variant spread on Monday, including attendance guidelines and testing protocols.

Students who have been restricted from attending classes due to COVID-19 will not be penalized for their absence and attendance in online classes will also be counted.

Until March 13, students whose family members have been diagnosed with COVID-19 can attend school if they have been fully vaccinated. Those who have not been vaccinated will not be allowed to come to class for seven days.

The ministry advises students who have not been fully vaccinated to undergo a polymerase chain reaction test three days after their family member had been tested, and an antigen rapid test six or seven days after.
From March 14, after the “new semester adjustment period” designated by the ministry ends, students whose family members have caught COVID can attend school regardless of their vaccination records.

They, however, will be subject to “passive monitoring” for 10 days, which means they have to report to health authorities if they experience any symptoms similar to COVID-19. The ministry suggests they undergo the same testing protocols and to refrain from attending schools for three days until they receive the PCR test result.

The Education Ministry also said an emergency response team will offer support to schools and education offices’ infectious disease prevention and control until the end of March.

By Im Eun-byel (silverstar@heraldcorp.com)
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