After several months of distance learning, Swedish high school and university students will be able to return to classrooms and lecture halls as of June 15, officials said Friday.
While Sweden stopped short of closing elementary schools at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it did instruct high schools, universities and other higher education institutions to conduct classes remotely.
But with most teaching in Sweden taking a break for the summer, many students will not see the inside of a classroom until the autumn semester starts.
Sweden banned gatherings of >50 people. Schools for kids <16 are open (older pupils tele-learn from home). Bars, restaurants, & gyms are open, w physical-distancing rules. People were asked to work from home if possible. Elderly were told to stay home. https://t.co/FGCgKLkvae 3/
— Nicholas A. Christakis (@NAChristakis) May 17, 2020
High school students who need extra tutoring during the summer will, however, be able to attend classes in person.
Education for adults, including vocational schools, will also be able to resume some classes, but will be required to conduct others remotely to keep the spread of the virus at bay.
The same is to apply for university students.
Sweden has not imposed the extraordinary lockdown measures seen across Europe, but has urged people to follow official recommendations and behave responsibly.
“I want to make it clear: we are still in the middle of a pandemic. Some education could, even going forward, need to be done via distance learning,” Matilda Ernkrans, Minister for Higher Education, told a press conference Friday.
Educational institutions will also need to take precautionary measures and respect a ban on gatherings of more than 50 people.
On Friday, Sweden reported a total of 36,476 confirmed COVID-19 cases, along with 4,350 deaths.