The COVID-19 spread remains extensive, prompting specific guidelines from the Hellenic National Public Health Organization (EODY) for the return of students to schools on Monday, January 8th, after the Christmas holidays. EODY’s recommendations encompass various measures, including thorough handwashing, maintaining distance, and the use of disinfectants.

Ahead of Monday, the Ministry of Education is expected to issue a circular outlining the protocols. According to ministry sources, students who test positive for COVID-19 (through pharmacy, health center, or hospital tests, with results logged into the system by pharmacists, etc.) will not attend school for the following five days. Absences validated by a document printed from the government’s portal will not count against students.

EODY’s Guidelines
To mitigate the risk of respiratory infections in the school setting, EODY has released a set of guidelines recommending adherence to basic measures by teachers, students, and staff.

Regular hand washing when hands are visibly dirty (using soap and water), before and after meal preparation or consumption and after using the toilet.

Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds followed by thorough drying using single-use paper towels and disposing of them in waste bins.

Alternatively, the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer is recommended.

Adequate ventilation of indoor teaching spaces by regularly opening windows to improve airflow.

Avoiding poorly ventilated spaces with crowded conditions (e.g., hallways, staircases, or elevator use).

Avoiding large gatherings and maintaining physical distance.

Avoiding touching the face, nose, eyes, and mouth, and thorough hand washing before and after.

Coughing or sneezing into the elbow or a tissue. If using a tissue, careful disposal after a single use, followed by hand washing.

If a student exhibits respiratory infection symptoms (sore throat, cough, runny nose) or tests positive for a respiratory pathogen like SARS-CoV-2, influenza, or RSV, it is advised to stay home and limit contact with others.

Home quarantine is recommended until symptoms improve for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.