The school year starts this Friday. | A. B.

Schools in the Balearics go back this week, and 173,500 students will be in school environments in which "almost all preventive measures" are being maintained. In particular, there will be the obligatory wearing of masks indoors and outdoors. Education minister Martí March said on Wednesday that "there is scientific evidence that masks protect everyone".

There will be face-to-face classroom teaching for all years. This will be facilitated by a reduction in social distance from 1.5 to 1.2 metres and by the level of vaccination - 90% of teachers and the majority of secondary school, Baccalaureate and vocational training students have been vaccinated.

"September last year was very different to this September," March noted at a press conference. There was "uncertainty, fear and anxiety". But praise is due to the educational community, which has applied protocols "consistently and strictly".

The minister emphasised how much vaccination benefits the recovery of a certain normality. He called on the 10% of unvaccinated teachers to join the majority, while accepting that there are no legal tools to force them. At present, 71% of students aged between 15 and 19 and 54% of those between the ages of 12 and 16 have so far completed the course of vaccination.

Legal ratios for the maximum number of students per classroom will be restored for this school year - 25 for kindergarten and primary school; 30 in secondary; and 35 in high school.