The news today that the infection rate in the UK has gone up and is close to the point where the virus starts spreading rapidly gives me no confidence that we should be considering the reopening of schools next in a few weeks time.
The so-called “R-number” is now between 0.7 and 1.0 – it needs to be kept below one in order to stay in control.
Teachers’ unions, who met with the Government today, said there are still “unanswered questions” about the safety of opening primary schools in England, from 1 June, after a meeting with the government’s scientific advisers.
The British Medical Association agreed it was too early to reopen schools.
Schools must not reopen until it is safe to do so.
There needs to be a proper strategy with a convincing public health campaign demonstrating to parents that it’s safe to do it.
Parents and teachers have a right to expect to see stringent measures in place to control the spread of the disease before children return which will mean mass community testing in place and the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to back it up.