İrem UZUN -TDO- Denmark began reopening schools on Wednesday after a month-long closure due to the coronavirus, becoming the first country in Europe to do so. Nurseries, kindergartens and primary schools welcomed returning students today who were pictured lining up outside, six feet apart, to maintain social distance rules. Students who are older than fifth grade will continue education online from home. Denmark has so far reported 299 deaths and 6.681 cases, although many more are thought to be infected.
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen welcomed children as they went back to school in the capital Copenhagen. “I’m very impressed,” Frederiksen told the TV2 channel as she attended the first school day in Valby, suburban Copenhagen. “The children are very happy to see their buddies again.” A set of hygiene and social distancing measures have already taken in classrooms. Elisa Rimpler, of the Danish Union of Early Childhood and Youth Educators, told the BBC that children have a lot of “washing hand times” during a school day. Still, Danish parents remained concerned that it was too early to let their children return to school and threatened to boycott the government’s plan. According to Bloomberg, parents gathered more than 40,000 supporters with a Facebook group titled “My child won't be a lab rat!”
Besides Denmark, some European countries have also started to relax lockdown measures. Austria reopened small shops beginning from Tuesday and has declared it will allow outdoor sports from 1 May. The Czech government has announced a “five-stage timetable” to ease measures. Italy, one of the most affected countries in the world, has allowed bookshops and clothing stores to open their doors in some regions.