Austria Introduces Traffic Light System as Schools are Reopening

More+Work & Careers ♦ Published: August 17, 2020; 20:08 ♦ (Vindobona)

Minister Faßmann presented the new concept for schools as they will reopen soon. The "traffic light system" will be introduced to provide a guide for schools on how to react on rising COVID-19 cases. The range goes from green with classroom teaching to red with distance learning.

As schools are reopening soon, the traffic light system is introduced. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / Ralf Roletschek (talk) - Fahrradtechnik auf, Wikis in der Schule [FAL or GFDL 1.2 (]

The main goal of the ministry is to keep the schools open from September on and to provide the students with classroom teaching, a regular timetable and school activities. However, in order to properly react on an increase in COVID-19 cases Minister Faßmann presented a four step "traffic light system".

Green: normal classroom teaching. Nevertheless, the school should be aware of the risk of Corona infections.

Yellow: mouth-and-nose protection should be worn outside from the classroom. However, it can be taken off when seated. Singing should be done either outdoor or with a mouth-and-nose protection. Sport classes is recommended to be held outside.

Orange: No school activities anymore. Singing is only allowed outdoor. Teacher meetings have to be done online. Secondary Schools II (High Schools) are recommended to provide distance learning.

Red: Distance learning in all schools if a general lockdown is announced. If needed, an emergency service is provided.

Teacher and students which are part of the risk group do not have to attend the classroom teaching. If a person lives with a risk group member in the same household, it is necessary to provide a certificate from the doctor to excuse the absence. In case that the increase in COVID-19 number has a negative effect on someone's mental health, they can also be excused with a certificate.

Moreover, FFP2-masks are provided for teachers belonging to the risk group.

In general, it is recommended to always fulfill the hygiene measures as regularly washing and disinfecting hands as well as sneezing and coughing into the elbow. Additionally, a regular interval of approx. 20 min should be introduced for opening the windows.