The Education Ministry said that its final decision is that public education will be held online, except for the youngest elementary school children in the first three grades, and for children attending the smallest schools in the country.

Parents will be asked to give their approval for their children to attend in-person education. On request, even these smallest groups of children can study online, in cases where the family has grandparents who can care for the children and doesn’t require them to go to school, or where it faces chronic illnesses, said Healthcare Minister Venko Filipce. For families with small children in the first three grades who have no broader support structure and need to go to work, the schools will be open. Pupils will have to wear masks and recess will be cut to 10 minutes to avoid mixing different classes.

This was a difficult decision which required much consultation, said Education Minister Arbr Ademi.

The school year starts in less than two weeks, and until today parents were left in uncertainty as to what to expect in the future.