Elementary school students in Ise, Japan, sit apart in class Monday to reduce the risk of spreading covid-19. The state of emergency was lifted in many parts of the country, so schools were able to reopen. (Kyodo/Reuters)

Many Japanese schools restarted Monday with strict covid-19 guidelines after the government’s lifting of the state of emergency last week in much of the country.

Desks were separated to maintain a social distance. Students’ temperatures were checked, and their hands were disinfected before attending class.

Students at Yamagata East High School in Yamagata City were divided into two groups by student ID number. One group attended school in the morning, and the other attended in the afternoon.

Students wore masks in classrooms, and teachers wore masks and face shields.

“Unlike with distance learning, we can talk directly with our teacher. We’ll learn more,” a first-year student said.

Kids at elementary and middle schools in another city, Chichibu, are attending class on alternate weekdays.

Although the region is still under a state of emergency, there have been few coronavirus cases recorded in the city. One fifth-grader in the city expressed happiness about being back at school: “I’ve been bored over the long break.”