Some 75,000 Cyprus students returned to their classrooms on Thursday as the second stage of relaxing restrictive measures to stem the spread of COVID-19 got underway.
With the partial lifting of the lockdown, 52,768 primary and 22,886 gymnasium students have returned to school after two months away from class.
Primary and gymnasium students of 71 schools island-wide joined the final year lyceum students who returned on May 11.
First and second-year lyceum students will continue to be taught by distance learning
Children at kindergartens are also not to return to schools at least before the introduction of the third stage of lifting restrictive measures on 9 June.
Along with children returning to their classes some 4,494 elementary and 3,075 secondary education teachers also returned to their desks on Thursday.
The students will be attending classes in two groups with group A going back to school on Thursday and group B on Friday.
During the first two days, children will be informed about health protocols which will apply until the end of the school year.
As of next week, children will be going to school on a rotation system, which will see Group A students going to school on Monday to Friday next week, with Group B taking over the following week.
Elementary schools opened at 7.30 am, with children in the first two grades finishing classes at 12.55 pm, third and fourth grades finish at 1 pm and in fifth and sixth year at 1.05 pm.
For small schools where up to 12 children are in a class, then only one group will be formed, which will attend school every day until June 26.
Classes of 25 students will be divided into two groups with 12 and 13 children, respectively.
The group with 13 children will be taught in larger rooms, according to instructions issued by the Education Ministry.
Health protocols to be applied at schools, provide that if students exhibit symptoms resembling those of the coronavirus, they are instructed to stay at home while parents will need to inform the school.
Teachers with symptoms of a respiratory infection will also stay at home and inform their doctor.
During breaks, teachers will be assigned to monitor students to ensure that social distancing rules are observed and that children comply with hygiene rules.
Until the end of the school year excursions, church services and in general any activity which involves leaving school will be prohibited, while children graduating this year from their schools will not have graduation ceremonies.