In the future, students should take a nasal swab every Monday. Five million “anterio-nasal tests” were purchased for this.
Parents of schoolchildren have to wait on: Contrary to what was expected, Education Minister Heinz Faßmann did not give a fixed date on Saturday when face-to-face classes would start again in schools. He was of the same opinion with the Chancellor that the schools should be opened first, said Fassmann at a press conference. The infection numbers in the federal states are very different, so the date can only be announced in the coming days. He did not rule out that schools in different federal states could open at different times.
One thing is certain: as soon as face-to-face lessons begin, there are weekly corona self-tests for the students. “Monday is test day. We are pulling in an additional safety net, ”said the Minister of Education. The swab only needs to be inserted into the anterior nasal area for the “anterio-nasal tests”. It does not take long and is not painful, emphasized Faßmann. A result is visible after 15 minutes. If the result is positive, the authorities are informed and a PCR test performed.
No consequences for test refusers
Elementary school and special school students should take the test at home. Older children and adolescents receive instructions on how to use the test at school, for example through videos or trained staff such as school doctors. From the second run onwards, they can take the tests home with them or take them at school. For students under the age of 14, this requires the consent of their parents. There will be no consequences for students who do not take the tests, the minister promised the parents: “There is neither a carrot nor a stick.”
The Ministry has bought 5 million of the “Anterio-Nasal Tests”. One test costs 2.70 euros, it is free for the students. The campaign is initially limited until the start of the semester break. A video can be found on the Ministry of Education’s website , that shows how the test works. “As easy as picking a nose,” it says.
Teachers and kindergarten teachers can also use the self-tests voluntarily. Their classification in the sequence of the vaccinations has now been clarified: The educators should receive the vaccine at the end of February or beginning of March. There will be no compulsory vaccination.
SPÖ and Neos welcome self-tests
SPÖ and Neos welcome the new test strategy: The government must now carry out a quality test and ensure certification, said SPÖ education spokeswoman Sonja Hammerschmid in a broadcast. “Now what we have been calling for since August is finally being done: creating test facilities for all children.” Neos education spokeswoman Martina Künsberg Sarre also finally asked for clarity about returning to face-to-face teaching.
The FPÖ education spokesman Hermann Brückl is completely different: He sees the “planned test orgy” at the schools as “completely pointless” given the low frequency of infection there. Apparently it is “a special concern of the government to get the youngest members of society used to the ‘new normal’ of a totalitarian surveillance state”.