APEEE Transport - New COVID-19 tracing and notification protocol
The updated COVID-19 measures issued by the Federation Wallonie Bruxelles and Sciensano, which constitute the basis for the most recent “Protocol for the Management of COVID-19 cases at school” (cf Communication of 26 February 2021), entail important changes in the rules that impact on the transport sector.
For each confirmed COVID-19 case using the bus service, the tracing of all “close contacts” will take account of the following elements:
- A period of at least 2 days before the onset of symptoms (in case of an asymptomatic pupil a period of at least 2 days before the sample was taken). In practice, this period will often cover the last two days prior to the last day of school presence.
- A “high-risk” zone comprising any pupil sitting 2 seats away (in any direction) from the confirmed COVID-19 case, meaning up to two rows in front / behind and two seats on each side.
The tracing will be conducted on the basis of the fixed seating plans for each bus line, established by the APEEE Transport Office. It is of utmost importance that pupils always take their designated seat!
The APEEE will be notifying separately the parents of those pupils sitting in the “high risk” zone, while a letter of vigilance will be sent for all pupils enrolled on the bus line concerned.
Please note that, as is the case today, a situational analysis on the concrete circumstances of each COVID-19 case will continue to be conducted by the school management with regard to schooling and whether the child should be placed in quarantine or not from school. The APEEE will also be examining all elements relating to school transport, including the actual time spent on the bus by the pupil and/or their close contacts, and share this information in a confidential manner with the school.
On the basis of those elements, the school management will decide on whether those "close contacts" will be placed in quarantine and, therefore, not be allowed to come to school. This decision will be communicated to the parents concerned by the school. Consequently, the APEEE will follow this decision as regards the use of the APEEE services, including the school buses.
We take this opportunity to inform you that, as soon as the weather conditions allow, the bus companies will be asked to leave (some of) the windows on each school bus open for the entire duration of the journey, in order to allow for a maximum ventilation.
We ask parents to take due account of this new COVID-19 tracing and notification protocol for any decision you wish to take regarding the transportation of your children to and from school.
All our safety protocol measures on buses will continue to apply.
Thank you for you cooperation during these challenging times!
The APEEE Transport WG