In the first week of school resuming after the Christmas break, 865 students in North Rhine-Westphalia refused to take a coronavirus test. The ministry in Düsseldorf clarified Tuesday in response to an inquiry by the German Press Agency that those who did not submit to coronavirus testing and did not prove a negative result by other means specified in the relevant procedures are not allowed to attend school.
In the week leading up to Christmas, the number of people who refused to test for SARS-CoV-2 was 835.
Ministry points out possible negative consequences
The ministry points to possible negative consequences for students if refusing to take the test or wear a mask in class leads to prolonged absences, resulting in failing grades. “In the case of refusal to take tests or wear a mask, there is generally no right to individual distance learning,” the ministry stated.
If someone stubbornly refuses to comply with the regulations put in place to protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection, compulsory schooling can be enforced. This was recently confirmed by the Higher Administrative Court, which ruled on the matter.
Whether the absences of those who refuse to take the test or wear the mask will be treated as unexcused absences or as a violation of compulsory school attendance is to be assessed by schools and supervisory authorities depending on the individual circumstances of the case, the Education Ministry explained to the dpa agency. However, the vast majority of the approximately 2.5 million pupils in North Rhine-Westphalia accept the sanitary regime and measures to ensure protection against infections.