What the Prime Minister said about the reopening of schools
Children of non-key workers could be able to return from school from June 1, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in his Sunday evening address to that nation.
The PM said that the process of starting to reopen school more fully was part of phase two of his plans, but would only be done if the infection rates remain low and in stages, with reception, Year 1 and Year 6 the first age groups to return.
More in-depth details will be revealed in the next few days as to how exactly schools and colleges will be asked to operate.
He said: “In step two – at the earliest by June 1 – after half term – we believe we may be in a position to begin the phased reopening of shops and to get primary pupils back into schools, in stages, beginning with reception, Year 1 and Year 6.
“Our ambition is that secondary pupils facing exams next year will get at least some time with their teachers before the holidays. And we will shortly be setting out detailed guidance on how to make it work in schools and shops and on transport.
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“And step three - at the earliest by July - and subject to all these conditions and further scientific advice; if and only if the numbers support it, we will hope to re-open at least some of the hospitality industry and other public places, provided they are safe and enforce social distancing.
“Throughout this period of the next two months we will be driven not by mere hope or economic necessity.
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“We are going to be driven by the science, the data and public health.
“And I must stress again that all of this is conditional, it all depends on a series of big Ifs.
“It depends on all of us – the entire country – to follow the advice, to observe social distancing, and to keep that R down.
“And to prevent re-infection from abroad, I am serving notice that it will soon be the time – with transmission significantly lower – to impose quarantine on people coming into this country by air.
“And it is because of your efforts to get the R down and the number of infections down here, that this measure will now be effective.
“And of course we will be monitoring our progress locally, regionally, and nationally and if there are outbreaks, if there are problems, we will not hesitate to put on the brakes.
“We have been through the initial peak – but it is coming down the mountain that is often more dangerous.”