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Italy to reopen primary schools as Rome moves to orange zone

Schools to reopen in Rome on 30 March as Italy moves Lazio region from red to orange zone under covid-19 restrictions.

Italy's kindergartens, elementary and middle schools can reopen after Easter, even in the country's highest-risk coronavirus 'red zones,' the Italian premier Mario Draghi announced today.

The Lazio region around Rome is to be reclassified as an 'orange zone' from Tuesday 30 March, when the region's schools can reopen, said Italy's health minister Roberto Speranza.

Most schools in Italy, from kindergartens to high school, have been closed since 15 March when the government tightened measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Since then millions of students of all ages have reverted to the distance learning methods first implemented in the covid-19 lockdown of last spring, attending lessons online from home.

This has triggered widespread protests by parents, teachers and children over the last week, with demonstrations taking place in 60 cites across the country today.

In addition to schools, the orange zone in Lazio will see the reopening of all shops and hairdressers in Rome and the surrounding region on 30 March.

People living in Lazio will also no longer be required to carry the self-certification form stating their "urgent or necessary" reasons for going outside.

In orange zones, restaurants and bars are closed except for takeaway, and museums remain closed.

Lazio's orange status will be interrupted however by a nationwide red zone from 3-5 April, effectively placing the country under a national lockdown over the Easter holiday weekend.

Schools across Italy, up to the first year of middle school, will then reopen with face-to-face lessons in the classroom from 6 April.

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