COVID-19 has forced 12 schools in mainland France to close, but the rest of the almost 60,000 opened as planned at the start of the academic year, Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said on Friday, as coronavirus cases across the country surge.
“It has been a rather good week even though there are always some glitches. Over 12 million pupils returned to school in spite of the difficulties and the worries,” he told Europe 1 radio.
He said a further 10 schools were closed for the same reason on La Reunion, an island off Madagascar administered by France.
The French school year began on Tuesday, with some parents and teachers’ unions voicing concerns that the virus could spread through classrooms.
The health ministry said on Thursday it had registered more than 7,000 new coronavirus infections over 24 hours for the second time in two days, just shy of a 7,578 record set on March 31. Hospitalisations for the virus also rose further.