Italy drops emergency covid restrictions for schools.
More than seven million students will return to the classroom in Italy on Monday as schools begin to reopen across the country after the summer holidays.
The reopening date of Italy's schools varies according to the region, with most schools in Italy reopening this week.
On Monday schools reopen in Abruzzo, Basilicata, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Lombardia (Milan), Piemonte (Turin), Veneto (Venice) and the automonous province of Trento.
Students in the Campania region around Naples return to the classroom on Tuesday while on Wednesday schools reopen in Calabria, Liguria, Marche, Molise, Puglia, Sardinia and Umbria.
On Thursday it will be the turn of the Lazio region around Rome as well as Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany.
Schools in the autonomous province of Bolzano already opened on 5 September while schools in Sicily and Valle d'Aosta don't reopen until 19 September.
A major novelty as the new academic year begins is the expiry of covid regulations that have dominated school life for the last couple of years.
Students will not be obliged to wear masks in the classroom and there will be an end to remote teaching or distance learning - known in Italy as 'didattica a distanza' (DAD) - in the event of a student in the class testing positive for covid.
There will be no more social distancing and school tours are also permitted to resume.
Teachers are advised to keep classrooms well ventilated by opening windows. FFP2 masks will only be required for "school staff and pupils who are at risk of developing severe forms of covid-19", according to a recent circular from the education ministry
In addition, unvaccinated teachers can finally return to teach in the classroom. Under last December's controversial vaccine mandate
, teachers who refused to get vaccinated against covid were suspended without pay. On 1 April they were allowed to return to school but were not permitted to teach.
For official information about the covid-19 situation in Italy see health ministry website
. Photo credit: Stefano Guidi / Shutterstock.com.