March 19, 2020 / 12:33 PM / 12 days ago

Italy's schools likely to remain closed beyond April 3 - Education Minister

Italian Education Minister Lucia Azzolina speaks as Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announces a decree that will close cinemas, schools in order to contain the coronavirus, in Rome, Italy March 4, 2020. REUTERS/Remo Casilli/Files

ROME (Reuters) - Schools in Italy are likely to remain closed beyond April 3, Italy’s Education Minister said on Thursday, as the government attempts to further limit contact among citizens to curb the coronavirus outbreak.

“As Prime Minister (Giuseppe) Conte said, I think we are going towards an extension of the April 3 deadline,” Lucia Azzolina told SkyTG24.

Schools and universities were closed on March 5.

Azzolina said schools would reopen only when there would be “certainty of absolute safety”, adding that the end of the school year would depend on how well online lessons would go in coming weeks.

Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte; writing by Angelo Amante

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