LIMA, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) — Using a face mask became optional on Monday for schoolchildren in Peru, for the first time since in-person classes resumed in late March.
According to a government decree published a day earlier, “the use of a mask is optional for students at educational institutions, and adequate ventilation must be guaranteed, in accordance with current regulations.”
Face masks are still mandatory for teaching staff, who health authorities believe are a vulnerable group amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Making face masks optional for schoolchildren was first announced on Aug. 25 by Education Minister Rosendo Serna, who said the decision to use one would be up to students and their parents.
This “big step” aims to return schools to normality, and facilitate communication and socialization among children, added Serna.
The Peruvian government launched a vaccination program for children between the ages of five and 11 following the return to in-person classes. The goal was to immunize 4,201,842 children in that age group, and 58.5 percent of them have already been fully vaccinated.