Excited children, anxious parents: Swiss go back to school

It's a first day back at school like no other.

Thousands of Swiss children returned to class on Monday after nearly two months off.

A time of anxiety and mixed emotions for many parents.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) MOTHER OF TWO PUPILS, HIEIANH, SAYING:

"I'm a little bit afraid because for my daughter it's OK, but for my son, he has some problems with his blood. So I don't know whether he'd get the virus."

Pupils and teachers are having to adapt to new rituals.

Classrooms are half-full to reduce crowding.

And desks are spaced two metres apart.

Teacher Laurent Meierhanz:

"I think we have had our dose of anxiety - everyone. The pupils feel it, too, as well as certain parents, so it's difficult to get back to the way it was. But I think we need to trust the authorities."

Children over the age of 10 and university students will have to wait until at least early June for their classes to begin.

Switzerland has reported more than 30,000 cases of COVID-19 and 1500 deaths.

With new infections falling, Bern is taking a phased approach to easing control measures.

Shops, restaurants and museums will also re-open this week.