Considerations for School-Related Public Health Measures for Populations in Vulnerable Conditions in the Context of COVID-19


The COVID-19 pandemic has had unprecedented impacts on how schools and education systems more broadly operate. Although more evidence on the impact of COVID-19 is needed, interruptions in the functioning of and access to schools have posed new challenges to children’s health, education, and protection. This guidance discusses the health, social and economic consequences of the measures taken to control the pandemic related to the closure of schools, as well as the elements that need to be taken into account when reopening and closing schools, with a focus on children and adolescents in vulnerable situations. It also provides additional considerations to ensure that plans to reopen schools include actions especially designed to benefit those children and adolescents at higher risk of having inadequate education and health outcomes due to the negative direct and indirect impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is addressed to technical teams at Ministries of Health and Education, mayors and local decision-makers.