Medical certs required for children who miss a day of school

Some schools in the Alicante province are requiring families of schoolchildren who miss one day of class due to a simple illness to provide a medical certificate to confirm that they do not have Covid-19 in order to allow them to rejoin their classmates. Parents of the children in question have reported these claims to local newspapers, complaining of a lack of information from schools about the exact protocol to follow, and claiming that in some instances, health authorities have refused to issue these documents, resulting in the children having to stay at home for two weeks, quarantined as if they were infected.
One mother of a four year old girl decided not to send her daughter to school after the child had a sleepless night. The next day, the covid coordinator of the school contacted her to inform her that if she did not present proof that her daughter did not have the virus, she would not be able to return to class on Monday. The mother then went to her local health centre and the paediatrician was able to give her daughter a diagnosis that she had no symptoms of Covid-19, but refused to provide her with a medical certificate out of “precaution”. The child is now unable to go to school until she has completed a period of self isolation.
Another mother of a five year old girl from Elche, claims that the school sent a letter to parents indicating that children who had a runny nose should not attend class unless they had a medical certificate ruling out Covid-19.
The mother contacted the family paediatrician and was informed that having a runny nose is not linked to the virus, and telling her that she should not go to the health centre so as not to overload the system. She was also told that health workers are trying to give care to those who really need it and they are not there to issue certificates because the system would collapse. Doctors and Paediatricians in the Alicante province already issued a warning before schools returned that their job was to care for the sick, not to certify healthy patients.
Parents across the region have claimed that in this ‘new normal’ it is impossible for them to reconcile their work with their children’s school, since from one day to the next the class could end up quarantined. Meanwhile, the school principals have assured that they are only following the strict protocols established by the Health Ministry.
Parents have also explained that young schoolchildren often have runny noses, colds and stomach bugs, and in many cases are absent from school several times during the year. This is something that has become a new worry for parents, since now it can cost them time away from work, between the time it takes to go to the health centre for a certificate “that they will not give you”, and a two week quarantine with the child.