SCHOOLS across Taiwan have reopened for the academic year as the island's largest coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak subsides.

Schools on the island shut down in May and many switched online in the face of the island’s largest outbreak, which has since passed 15,000 cases. Taiwan is now reporting new Covid-19 cases in the single digits.

Students will eat lunch at their own desks, which now have plastic dividers separating students. Masks are required, and classrooms will have exhaust fans to circulate air.

Two giant balloons and music created a festive air greeting the students arriving for classes at Tienmu Elementary School on Wednesday. Parents are relived that their kids are back in school, saying online learning wasn’t necessarily good in the long term.

“You can see that parents are really happy today,” said Liao Cher-hao, president of the parents’ association of the school in the capital, Taipei. “They all want to send their kids back to school ASAP. Basically, we made a survey. The results of online classes are not super good.” (AP)