Plan of school closures across Europe

Many countries in the European Union are following Italy's exampke and are starting with the closure of schools. 

The COVID-19 virus has quickly spread across populations. Hospitals are filling up. Governments across the world are taking desperate measures, in a hope to halt the virus in its tracks. From travel bans to nationwide lockdowns, the world is watching as the Coronavirus interrupts daily lives.Italy was one of the first EU countries to shut down museums, restaurants and travel. However, one of the first steps in Italy’s nationwide shut down was the closure of all schools and universities. Many other countries in the European Union are following suit, starting with the closure of schools. This closure is due to start on Monday, 16 March, in the following countries.


As of 12 March 2020, France has a confirmed 2,876 cases of the Coronavirus, with a death toll at 61 people. In an effort to “not become the next Italy,” French president Emmanuel Macron has put several initiatives in place. One of these include the indefinite closings of all schools, universities and crèches, or daycares, starting Monday, 16March. 


The death toll in Spain has amounted to 84 persons, with 189 recovered patients and another 3,004 confirmed cases. On Thursday, 12 March, Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez recommended the closing of all schools. Following this recommendation, 9.5 million students were sent home from schools and universities by all of Spain’s regional governments. This closure is due to end in two weeks.


Germany is among several countries that have not been hit as hard by the Coronavirus. With 2,369 confirmed cases and a low death toll of 6 persons, Germany is quite ready to go into a nationwide lock down. However, schools will close. In the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, some schools have already closed. In the northwest, schools in the Lower Saxony region will close on Monday, 16 March, indefinitely.


Like Germany, Denmark has not experienced a drastic number of Coronavirus cases. As of 12 March, only 674 cases have been confirmed in mainland Denmark and two confirmed cases in the Faroe Islands. Nobody has died from the Coronavirus. However, schools have been closed and will remain closed for two weeks.


In Belgium, one person has recovered, three people have died and there are 399 confirmed cases. It is a low rate, lower than most other countries in Europe. However, Belgium’s Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès announced that all classes will be canceled as from Monday, 16 March. Schools are not closing, though. In fact, schools must provide day care services for parents, particularly parents working in the health care sector. Nurseries will also remain open.


The same case for Belgium is true for Austria. With 361 confirmed cases and one death, Austria continues to take preventative measures. Starting on 16 March, until after the Easter holiday, students aged 15 and older must stay at home and complete class work online. Students aged 14 and younger have the option to stay home and complete online class work or come to school 


As of March 12, 78 patients have been confirmed to have the Coronavirus and one patients has recovered. Portugal has taken a series of preventative measures, including the closures of all schools and childcare facilities. Prime Minister António Costa announced that the closure will last from Monday, 16 March, until after the Easter holiday. However, this closure will be reassessed on 9 April. 


With 57 confirmed cases and zero deaths, Slovenia has announced that all schools will be closed starting Monday, 16 March, indefinitely.


Six people have recovered in Romania, and nobody has died, due to the Coronavirus. However, with 59 confirmed cases. Romania plans to keep schools closed until 22 March 


After 1,784 conducted tests, 70 people in Ireland have been confirmed to have the COVID-19 virus. One person has died. All schools, colleges and childcare facilities have been closed, indefinitely. Most colleges have moved to online lectures, and Dublin City University announced a postponement for graduation ceremonies.


With only 25 confirmed cases and zero deaths, the nation of Croatia hasn’t announced any nationwide plans for school closures. Only schools in Istria, the region closest to the Italian border, will continue classes online. This is indefinite.


After 853 tests were done, 21 cases have been confirmed in Slovakia and no one has died. However, all schools nationwide will be closed for two weeks starting on 16 March.


With less than 10 confirmed cases and zero deaths, Malta will close all schools nationwide for one week.


The Republic of Cyprus has confirmed 10 cases, and two cases have been confirmed in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Like Malta, all schools will be closed nationwide for one week.


Schools will be closed starting Monday, 16 March until the 29th of the same month.