French teachers go on strike over handling of COVID-19 pandemic

French teachers go on strike over handling of COVID-19 pandemic

France restricts travel from UK amid surge in omicron cases

Dr. Kevin Campbell calls the travel restrictions ‘a bit reactionary’ and says the concern should be focused on ‘vaccines.’

French teachers have walked out in a nationwide strike Thursday to express anger at the way the government is handling the virus situation in schools, denouncing confusing rules and calling for more protection.

Exhausted by the pressures of surging COVID-19 cases, a large majority of teachers were expected to support the call by 11 unions to protest virus-linked class disruptions and ever-changing isolation rules.

Unions have staged a street protest in Paris city center on Thursday afternoon.

Students attend the first day of school for the 2021-2022 year at Gounod Lavoisier Primary school, Lille, northern France, Thursday, Sept. 2 2021.
(AP Photo/Michel Spingler)

The SNUIPP teacher’s union says discontentment is rising among French teachers. Since Jan. 6, authorities have already imposed two changes to the rules on testing schoolchildren, leaving many with whiplash.

“The situation since the start of the January school year has created an indescribable mess and a strong feeling of abandonment and anger among school staff,” the union said.

SNUIPP is calling for a return to a previous rule that shuts classes down for a week if a child tests positive.

Teachers are also demanding higher quality masks, more testing at schools and devices in classes warning when ventilation is required.

The strike comes after French senators approved a bill requiring adults to provide proof of vaccination to enter restaurants and bars, cinemas, theaters, museums, sports arenas and interregional trains. Unvaccinated kids between 12 and 17 can show a negative test.

The measure will come into force after parliament approves the legislation by next week.

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