Over 4,000 positive cases among pupils.

Given the general level of Covid infection, it was only to have been expected that schools in the Balearics would reflect this. On Friday, at the end of the first week back after the holidays, there were 835 teachers off sick with Covid and 4,039 children - aged three to 16 - positive for Covid. The previous highest number was 676 - the week of December 11 to 17 before the holidays.

Education minister Marti March reported on Friday that 604 teachers were absent in Mallorca, 49 in Minorca, 164 in Ibiza and 18 in Formentera - 5.2% of all teachers in public-sector schools. Ninety supply teachers have been taken on for infant and primary schools and 24 for secondary and vocational training.

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March said: "We are aware that we are facing a difficult situation, as is the case in the rest of Balearic society due to the high rate of infection of the new variant. Schools are reorganising their staff to attend to the students and supply teachers are being sent where there is priority need."

The education ministry announced on Friday that, as a general rule, there will be no tracing within the classroom and that schools will not have to send lists of close contacts to the EduCovid service.

For infant and primary schools, regardless of the number of positive pupils in the classroom, close contacts will not have to quarantine and nor will there be any screening (diagnostic tests), except in cases of immunosuppression. In secondary schools, there will be quarantine - both for students and teachers - if they have not had the complete course of vaccination, have not had Covid in the past 180 days or have immunosuppression.