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Masks, testing and sport: What are the rules for schools in Austria?

Masks, testing and sport: What are the rules for schools in Austria?
What are the rules for school in Austria? Photo by Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash
School is back in Austria from Monday onwards. Here’s what parents and students can expect.

Face to face lessons are back in Austria, although there will be a few changes to the usual way of things. 

From testing three times per week to masks, here’s what you need to know about the new rules for schools. 

When are schools going back in Austria? 

Face to face lessons will start up again on Monday, May 17th. 

This applies to both primary/elementary schools, as well as secondary schools. 

Are the lessons taught in shifts? 

Lessons will take place via face-to-face teaching for middle schools and AHS lower grades, along with elementary schools. 

Lessons take place over a five-day period, i.e. no longer in shifts on alternating days. 

What are the rules for testing? 

Students need to be tested three times per week. 

This can be either through a test at school, or an antigen or a PCR test off site. The antigen and PCR tests are valid for 48 and 72 hours respectively. 

Students who have been vaccinated or who have had the virus in the past six months do not need to take a test. 

Students who refuse to be tested will need to take part in distance learning. 

What are the rules for masks? 

Masks must be worn, although this will differ somewhat depending on the age group. 

In elementary schools, students will need to wear masks but can remove them when they sit at their seats. 

In lower grades of high school, the masks must stay on in class – while in upper grades masks must remain on and only FFP2 masks will suffice. 

Can students take part in sport? 

Physical education classes and sport can take place – including swimming – however it should happen outdoors wherever possible. 

Masks are not required. 

Contact sports are allowed, but two metres of distance should be maintained as much as possible between participants. 

Events such as sports days can take place provided they only last one day and that they “take place in strict compliance with the necessary hygiene regulations and carry out a risk assessment”.

What about other rules? 

There will be a restriction on the amount of tests and exams that can take place, with a limit of one school assignment per semester. 

The Education Ministry has said the focus of grading should be on cooperation rather than competitive assessment. 


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