Thousands of grade school students in Campeche have returned to classrooms in a state-wide pilot program.
In total 5,500 students in 137 schools are to taking part in the pilot program which authorities hope can be emulated elsewhere in the country.
This is the first time that any substantial amount of students in Mexico has been allowed to return to in-person learning since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are so grateful for the hard work of teachers in Campeche who have made this day possible. We are overjoyed that this first group of students is now returning to classrooms, even though the conditions will not be exactly normal,” said federal Education Minister, Delfina Gómez.
School groups have been split into two, with one group of children attending class on Mondays and Wednesdays, and the other getting their turn on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
However in-person attendance is not mandatory, as students and their guardians are still able to opt for distance education options.
The Campeche state government has said that classrooms are being cleaned thoroughly every day in an effort to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection.
School administrators and teachers have also been instructed to make as much use as is possible of outdoor spaces, for both learning and recreation activities.
Students, teachers, and staff are all required to keep social distancing guidelines and regularly wash their hands.
Federal authorities say that any state planning to participate in similar re-opening schemes must achieve green on the countries epidemiological traffic light. It is also required that all teachers and staff be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.