Dominic Raab is expected to announce an extension to the lockdown which could last until May 7 as the Government prepares an exit strategy from the pandemic. However, Spain and Italy have begun to relax lockdown measures while Germany has also confirmed its own exit strategy. Denmark has also reopened some schools and daycare centres despite fears they might become breeding grounds for a second wave of cases.
With that in mind, Express.co.uk is asking, ‘Should UK schools be reopened or does that risk second wave?’
Speaking at the Government’s press briefing on Wednesday, England’s chief medical officer, professor Chris Whitty admitted the trend in new infections was beginning to ease.
Although deaths will continue to rise, the rate of infections has begun to flatten out he reported on Wednesday.
He also stated that over the next 10 days, the UK Government would be allowed to compile an exit strategy as the medical data comes in.
Uk schools poll: Should schools reopen?
Coronavirus: UK schools were closed last month
He said: “The more we have an understanding of where that the transmission rate is, which will happen as we go over the next 10 days or so, the more easy it is for us to judge exactly how we can go through to the next phase in a way that is properly evidence based.”
Schools across the UK were closed on March 23 but Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson has reportedly pushed for pupils to return sooner than originally planned.
As it stands, schools are only open for children of key workers.
However, a Government source has stated Mr Williamson wants schools to reopen amid concerns over the education of pupils.
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The source said: “He’s Education Secretary – he’d, of course, prefer schools to be open. But it’s not his choice.
“He is worried about all children and how they are going to do.
“There is no replacement for children going along to classes under the supervision of teachers who know them.
“However, schools will only be opened when it is safe to do so.”
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Coronavirus: Mr Williamson is reportedly keen to bring pupils back to schools
Coronavirus: Denmark has reopended schools
Denmark, which has reported 6,879 cases at the time of writing, reopened schools in order to allow workers to return to their jobs and thus restart the economy.
Christian Wejse, a scientist at the department of infectious diseases at Aarhus University stated new infections would be unproblematic.
Mr Wejse stated new infections would not have a serious effect on an age group where few fall ill or get very sick.
Sweden has kept schools open throughout the pandemic without a sharp rise in infections.
Uk daily death rate
Although, staff have been told to maintain strict social distancing regulations.
However, Danish Facebook group, ‘My kid is not going to be a Guinea Pig’, some have stated they will not send their children to school as the pandemic continues.
Sandra Anderson said: “I won’t be sending my children off no matter what.
Coronavirus: France has also reopended schools
“I think a lot of parents are thinking, ‘Why should my little child go outside first’.”
Although France has surpassed 10,000 deaths, President Emmanuel Macron has also stated schools and shops would re-open as countries begin to move towards a gradual end to their respective lockdowns.