Church schools re-opening in 2021 moved online as COVID-19 cases spike

Catolic Education Secretariat says decision for online schooling in first days of 2021 could be extended until at least 13 January if COVID-19 cases remain high

A sharp increase in COVID-19 cases has prompted church schools to re-open in 2021 with online classes for the remainder of the week, with the decision to be reassessed on Sunday.

The number of positive COVID-19 cases is expected to remain high in the coming days.

Church schools will be teaching online between 7-8 January, allowing schools to safeguard the health and safety of students, staff members and their families.

Earlier, the Malta Union of Teachers warned of possible industrial action after claiming the Education Ministry ignored the advice of the health authorities not to reopen schools tomorrow.

However, Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci denied that government was advised to keep schools closed after the Christmas holidays despite the MUT claiming otherwise. “We noted an increase in cases among children and informed the educational authorities. The screening policy at the door will continue being applied rigorously, and my appeal to parents is not to send sick children to school," Gauci said.

The Curia said that its measures may be extended until at least 13 January if cases remain high. “Parents will be informed through their respective schools by this Sunday evening, 10 January,” it said.

The Curia said that it reminded the public that health and safety remain paramount. “This precautionary measure will help contain the increase in cases and avoid greater hardships on families if they have to quarantine themselves as a result of contact with positive cases in schools.” 

On Wednesday Malta registered 244 new cases of COVID-19.