Covid-19 in Italy: Reopening schools priority says Conte

"The right to health and the right to education must go hand in hand," says Italy's health minister.

The safe reopening of Italy's schools as planned on 14 September remains the government's "top priority" said premier Giuseppe Conte, reports news agency ANSA.

Conte's remarks come as the government holds further talks with regional authorities in relation to the practicalities of school transport ahead of the scheduled reopening of schools across Italy on 14 September.

Italy's health minister Roberto Speranza, who participated in a World Health Organization video conference with 53 countries on 31 August, tweeted: "The right to health and the right to education must go hand in hand."

The remarks by Conte and Speranza coincide with the closing on 31 August of the biggest school in the northern Piemonte region, the Cobianchi high school in Verbania, which had been open for catch-up classes since 26 August but has now shut again after a teacher tested positive for covid-19.

In Rome, a noted private school, St George's, has delayed its scheduled reopening on 1 September due to the number of positive covid-19 cases within the school community.

Schools across Italy closed in the early stages of the covid-19 crisis on 5 March and did not open before the end of the 2019-2020 school year.