Croatia will further ease on Monday restrictions enacted to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, allowing elementary schools, shopping malls, cafes, restaurants, national parks to reopen.
Public school grades 1-4 are headed back to class on Monday, but things will be quite different for both teachers and students. Irena Serpak Makše teaches first grade at the Matko Laginja Elementary School in Zagreb. When she returns to work on Monday she will be in charge of a mixed group of students, comprising first and third graders, most of whom are not from her class. Of the 23 students she started the year with, only one will be attending class, while the remaining 22 will continue with on-line classes. She is not too happy with the situation.
“It’s terrible. I’d like all 23 of my kids to be in class and that we can continue working together like we have up until now and not to have only one of them coming to school,” she said.
Under the guidelines issued by public health authorities, students suffering from medical conditions that may put them at greater risk must stay home, as do students whose close family members fall into this category. Furthermore, parents can opt not to send their kids back to school. Many schools are expecting few students to return and are reorganizing classes by combining age groups.
Public rail services will resume on Monday. Rail traffic has been limited to freight transport for the past six weeks. The drop in train traffic has raised concerns about safety at railroad crossings and the national rail operator Hrvatske Željeznice has issued a statement warning drivers to be aware of oncoming trains and to abide by warning signals and signs. Trains have also been ordered to blow their whistles when coming up on a road intersection.
Intercity buses will begin operating this week, but with fewer available seats to leave room between passengers. Bus companies have been instructed to mark off seats that must remain unoccupied. They will also have to disinfect armrests, headrests, and any other surface that passengers may have touched after arriving at the destination.
National parks will also open to visitors on Monday. Most are planning to open some if not all of their restaurants and cafes.
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