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Photo Diary: What a Socially Distanced School Day Looks Like in Denmark, Where Students Have Already Returned to Class Amid Coronavirus

By Meghan Gallagher | April 27, 2020

As governors, mayors and school district officials across America debate a possible reopening of the nation’s schools amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, students half a world away have already returned to the classroom with social distancing in mind.

Younger grade-school students in Denmark returned to campuses earlier this month, as the country begins to ease its lockdown restrictions; the children must adhere to strict guidelines concerning hygiene and social distance. As classes returned to session at Ringsted Lilleskole, a private school about 50 miles southwest of Copenhagen, photographer Ole Jensen shadowed students to capture a photo diary of what school looks like amid a pandemic. Here’s a brief glimpse of how education looks now across several schools in Denmark:

Children at Ringsted Lilleskole in Ringsted, Denmark, receive open-air lessons as pupils are welcomed back to school on April 20, 2020, after closing for five weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak. Only pupils up to fifth grade are currently permitted to return to school as Denmark begins to ease restrictions; those in higher grades must stay at home. (Ole Jensen/Getty Images)

Bjarke Jon Jensen, vice headmaster at Ringsted Lilleskole, welcomes pupils back to school after it was closed for five weeks. (Ole Jensen/Getty Images)

Teacher Louise Sjoestein gives out hand sanitizer as pupils are welcomed back to school after it was closed for five weeks. The children must adhere to strict rules regarding social distance and hygiene. (Ole Jensen/Getty Images)

Ringsted Lilleskole students receive open-air lessons as pupils are welcomed back to school. (Ole Jensen/Getty Images)

A sign at Ringsted Lilleskole instructing the pupils about the new rules they must adhere to in order to avoid spreading coronavirus while at school. (Ole Jensen/Getty Images)

Vice Headmaster Bjarke Jon Jensen shows a special sign designed for parents of schoolchildren instructing the parent driving their children to school to kiss goodbye in the car, to stay there and not to follow the children inside the school in order to avoid spreading the coronavirus among other children. (Ole Jensen/Getty Images)

Schoolchildren have their lunch during their lunch break at the Korshoejskolen public school in Randers, Denmark, on April 15. (Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images)

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen speaks with pupils as she participates in the reopening of Lykkebo School in Valby in Copenhagen on April 15. (Philip Davali//Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images)

Students are washing their hands during a break at Korshoejskolen in Randers, Denmark, on April 15. (Bo Amstrup /Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images)

Teacher Rebekka Hjorth has music lessons with her 5.A class outdoors at the Korshoejskolen public school in Randers, Denmark. (Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images)

Parents with their children stand in line waiting to get inside Stengaard School, north of Copenhagen, Denmark, on April 15. (Ólafur Steinar Gestsson /Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images)

A welcome-back flag made by kindergarten children, captured as pupils are welcomed back to school in Ringsted, Denmark, on April 20 after it was closed for five weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak. (Ole Jensen/Getty Images)

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