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French, Chinese students head back to school

Paris/ Beijing: Millions of French children starting going back to school Tuesday despite a recent rise in virus infections, in a nationwide experiment aimed at bridging inequalities and reviving the economy.

The virus is still there, and you have to protect yourself, President Emmanuel Macron said in an Instagram video aimed at France's more than 12 million schoolchildren on their first day back.

He spoke masked. Masks are required throughout the school day for all students 11 and over, and all teachers and school staff.

Masks are also mandatory starting Tuesday in all French workplaces, as the government encourages parents to return to the job while trying to keep infections under control.

France reported 3,082 new Coronavirus cases Monday, down from recent days but still higher than European neighbors and well above the few hundred daily cases reported in May and June, before summer vacations sent infections rising again. France has reported more than 30,600 deaths related to the virus.

Chinese students on Tuesday began a full return to regular classes following two weeks without new cases of local transmission in the country.

About 75% of students had already returned to school and the remainder will return beginning from Tuesday.

Reports said students had their temperatures checked on arrival but rules on social distancing and mask wearing varied depending on the region.

China's National Health Commission reported 10 new cases of Coronavirus on Tuesday, all of them brought from outside the country.

China has reported a total of 4,634 deaths from COVID-19 among 85,058 cases since the virus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

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