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> Valery Falkov: “Wearing masks will become mandatory in the new academic year”

Valery Falkov: “Wearing masks will become mandatory in the new academic year”
2020-08-01 06:43

Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation Valery Falkov held an online meeting with rectors of Russian universities to discuss the preparation of educational institutions for the new academic year in the context of the prevention of new coronavirus infection. During the meeting, the minister said about several important novelties for universities in the upcoming academic year.

In the new academic year, wearing masks will become the mandatory rule for students and university teachers. “Wearing face masks will be a requirement. This will make it possible to organize the educational process, observing the rules for the prevention of new coronavirus infection” said Valery Falkov. He also noted that students and teachers who had the presence of antibodies to the virus confirmed can attend classes without masks, but in this case, it is necessary to get an appropriate certificate. Teachers may not use masks when giving lectures. Universities should provide students and teachers with masks.
Another important requirement to organize the educational process will be the mandatory body temperature measurement at the university.
“By the upcoming new academic year, all entrances to educational buildings should be equipped with a thermometry system. This is necessary to prevent new foci and reduce the risks of infection” the minister emphasized. In addition, special devices will appear in university classrooms that will ensure regular air disinfection.
During the meeting, the topic of organizing the educational process for nonresident and international students was given special attention.  The following rule will come into effect for international students: students upon arrival in Russia, will have to comply with a 14-day quarantine and take a virus test 10-12 days after arriving in the country. Only then can they be admitted to classes. For those who cannot enter the country, universities will provide access to online classes. Nonresident students arriving from the red zone in order to begin their studies will also have to take a coronavirus test.
During the meeting, the issue of the start date of the new academic year was touched upon. The minister pointed out that universities had the right to independently decide whether they would start the educational process in September. “Universities have the right to postpone the beginning of the academic year by two months. However, 92% of Russian higher educational institutions are ready to start the academic year from September 1” said Valery Falkov.