Older pupils across Denmark to return to school for outdoor lessons

Denmark will from this coming Monday push forward with its next phase of school reopening, with older pupils at primary and lower secondary schools set to return to school one day a week for outdoor lessons, among other changes.

Older pupils across Denmark to return to school for outdoor lessons
Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

“I am happy as a clam that we can reopen even more from next week, so that students across the country can come back at least one day a week,” education minister Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil told the Ritzau newswire after the decision, made by the government and its left-wing support parties, was published.

Older pupils in primary and lower secondary schools across the country (years 5-8, 11-15 years old) will be able to return to their schools once a week for outdoor lessons.

In East Jutland, South Jutland, Funen and West and South Zealand — all regions with lower infection levels — those in their final year of primary school (year 9, 16-year-olds), together with students in adult education, will be able to return to school 50 percent of the time, with each class split, with each half coming into school on alternate weeks. 

Finally, pupils at schools on islands without a bridge to Jutland or Zealand will be able to return to schools full-time, while youth residential schools (‘efterskoler’ and ‘højskoler’) will reopen across the country.

The deal also allows shops with more than 5,000 square metres of space to welcome up to 250 customers, although to visit customers will have to make a prior appointment. 

As a precaution, staff and pupils at primary and lower secondary schools will be “strongly encouraged”  to take a coronavirus test before returning to school, with their negative test result at most 72 hours old by the time they attend classes, while for those at higher levels of education, a negative test will be required. 


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Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil said that the government would seek to further increase the amount of time pupils can spend at school as soon as it is justifiable from an infection control standpoint. 

“There is no doubt that we all would very much like to have the students back on completely normal terms, because it is of course the best way to go to school,” she said. 

Vocational colleges will reopen at 50 percent of normal hours, except in Copenhagen where the limit will be one day per week.

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