Florence Schools Reopen Post-Lockdown


With only 15 facilities opting for online classes, 42,000 students in Florence, the greater Florence metropolitan area, and the province of Florence, returned to the classroom in 52 schools on September 14, for the first time since March 2020 when the Coronavirus health emergency officially began.

A few things have changed.  Parents must take their child’s or adolescent’s temperature every day before they leave for school.  If a temperature higher than 37.5° is registered, the student must not go out of the house and a pediatrician or family doctor must be immediately contacted.  The health professional will decide whether to opt for COVID-19 testing, which can even be scheduled at home if more convenient, or at a health institute offering a drive-in service.  If all is well, once off to school students — who must wear face masks from age 6 and up and can lower them once seated and in the cafeteria — will find  buses running more frequently then usual along the routes served by the #5, #11, #23, #35, #84, #72, #75, #86, #87, #89 and #303, especially in the morning and in the early afternoon, according to school schedules.  This is to ensure proper social distance on public transport, which can be be filled 80% to capacity if a passenger’s trip lasts 15 minutes or less.

The greater Florence metropolitan area and the province of Florence has invested 116 million euro to inaugurate new classrooms, often assigned in different time slots to decrease the number of pupils on the premises.  Spaces in buildings belonging to parish churches aw well as to American university campuses and theaters are also being used to increase a school’s capacity.  In the city of Florence, extra classrooms have been added or made available for the following institutes of learning: Galileo, Castelnuovo, Rodolico, Ginori Conti, Elsa Morante, Alberti-Dante (the latter at Teatro Le Laudi for music lessons and rehearsals); in Fucecchio at the Checchi and in Empoli for the Ferraris-Brunelleschi school.  Desks have been purchased so that students can sit alone, socially distanced from peers a minimum of one meter (3.2 ft).  Social distancing will also be maintained during recess outside.  In the school cafeteria, each student will be receive food to eat in shifts, sitting alone in a space of four square meters (43 square ft).

If a teacher and/or a student is found to be infected with the COVID-19 virus, the entire class must self isolate for 14 days.

To read more in Italian, visit Florence’s La Repubblica news site.