Peter Aldous calls on the Prime Minister to ensure the Government addresses peoples’ concerns about reopening primary schools, in particular about possibility of a significant threat of the virus both in the classroom and at the school gate.
The Prime Minister is right to highlight above all else the need to avoid a second spike. A concern that I am receiving, from both individual constituents and businesses, is that the reopening of primary schools could present a significant threat, both in the classroom and at the school gate. Will the Prime Minister assure the House that he and his Government will do all they can to address those worries before allowing primary schools to reopen?
Yes, and I should stress that we have made the announcement only about primary schools. We have guidance from our scientists and our medical officers, and we think we could get to that stage on 1 June, but I stress that it is all conditional; it is all provisional. We must continue to drive down the R. We must continue our fight against the coronavirus. We will be publishing guidance about safety in schools, and about how parents, teachers and children can use and go to schools with confidence. There will be change—the environment will be different in our school settings—but that does not mean that they should be closed down forever. If we can make progress, we will be gradually restarting in June.
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