Universities plan phased return as COVID-19 cases slow

Working with the most optimistic projections for the progress of COVID-19, Spanish universities have started to plan a return to normal activity as early as the start of June, writes Laura Vilaca for Chemistry World.

It has been a month since the Spanish government declared a mandatory lockdown to try to halt the spread of COVID-19. Things are now looking up for the European country that was hardest hit after Italy, as the curve of new cases has already started to flatten. On 14 April, new coronavirus-related deaths stood at 520 against a record high of 950 deaths two weeks earlier.

In Spain, education is governed at a regional level, and municipalities have delegated campus reopening schedules to the universities themselves. Most universities plan a phased return of students and researchers, with the first phase starting in early June if things continue to improve. As a result, the academic year could be extended until July, and some students may have to sit exams or conduct lab work in September. This could mean an overlap with the following academic year, or a delayed start for the upcoming term.
Full report on the Chemistry World site