French schoolchildren can skip lessons and stay home on Thursday and Friday if their families want to isolate themselves before Christmas, Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Tuesday.
The Medical Council, which advised the government on COVID-19, said on Monday that families who planned to host people exposed to the coronavirus, such as older relatives, should be quarantined a week in advance if possible.
Schools should not punish students who miss the last two days of the reading period, the council added.
Asked if he supported the recommendation, Castex told Europe 1 radio: “Of course.”
Governments across Europe are grappling with how to contain a powerful second wave of the virus just as families long to gather during the festive season.
France is delaying the reopening of theaters, museums and cinemas and imposed a curfew on Tuesday while the Netherlands enters a tough second lock-in and Germany closes unnecessary shops from Wednesday.