Schools for classes 1 to 7 will reopen in Mumbai on Wednesday after being shut for over 20 months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mumbai civic chief Iqbal Singh Chahal issued the order to reopen schools.

Earlier, physical classes were slated to restart from December 4. However, the reopening was postponed due to the emergence of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has also shared guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19, Times Now reported.

As per the guidelines, students and staff members need to ensure that they wear masks at all times. Schools have been directed to ensure that their teaching as well as non-teaching staff are vaccinated. Schools have also been asked to make sure that their premises are sanitised regularly and that there are no crowds in common areas.

Physical attendance is not mandatory and students who wish to continue with online classes can do so.

Meanwhile, schools will also reopen from classes 1 to 7 in Pune from December 16, ANI quoted Mayor Murlidhar Mohol as saying.

Earlier, the Maharashtra government had decided to reopen schools for all classes from December 1. However, Pune’s civic body subsequently decided to postpone the reopening of physical classes till December 15 citing the World Health Organization’s alert about the Omicron variant, according to The Indian Express.

From August 17, the state government had allowed schools to resume in areas where the prevalance of Covid-19 was low.

The government had not specified a threshold below which coronavirus cases would be considered as “low”. However, it empowered municipal authorities and district collectors to take a decision for urban and rural areas.

Schools reopened across the state for Classes 8 to 12 in urban areas, and standards 5 to 12 in rural areas from October 4.

Currently, Maharashtra has 20 cases of the Omicron variant. Out of these, five patients are in Mumbai, according to PTI.