Good Friday, a chief nurse confirmed that this group had been designated for “early release” because they were the least at risk of contracting the virus, but suffered most financially.
Manchester Evening News reported that Professor Paul Cosford, medical director of Public Health England, confirmed that plans were being made to release the young people from isolation.
Speaking on Radio 4 Today, he said, “These are all things that will need to be considered and that are being considered. “
Professor Cosford also spoke about the reopening of schools following speculation that this would happen after the Easter holidays. Asked if they could reopen as part of the first wave of relaxed restrictions, he said, “The importance of educating children and educating children is paramount.
” Perhaps. Some countries are considering this. Other countries are considering different ways of doing it. “
However, Professor Cosford, along with other health officials and senior ministers, warned that the country still had “a long way to go” before the social distancing measures were lifted.
Speaking at Good Morning Britain also on Friday morning, Dr. Cosford called on people to stay home over the Easter holidays because he said the current impact of the lockdown is working.
“People conform (to the measures) by a very large majority and the impact that this has is that the transmission is much, much less than it would be otherwise,” he said.
“The most important thing now is that we continue (to stay at home) so that we can cross the summit and descend to the other side. “
NHS England National Medical Director Stephen Powis echoed his colleague’s comments about staying indoors, but admitted that social distancing will not be eased until the number of coronavirus-related deaths will start to drop.
He warned that he could “a week or two” before.
He told BBC Breakfast, “Obviously we want to see the deaths drop, and I think it could be another week or two.
“We want to see the pressure on the NHS not increase, we want to see fewer people in intensive care units and admitted to hospital with the virus. We want to see evidence that the virus is not spreading as much in the community. “
* Schools should reopen before the six-week summer vacation if scientific evidence indicates that it is safe to do so, school principals have suggested.
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But any return to normalcy should be planned, rather than “flipping a switch” before the weekend and assuming “everything will be fine on a Monday morning,” warned the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT).
Schools in England closed three weeks ago due to the coronavirus epidemic, remaining open only to vulnerable young people and the children of key workers.
There is no indication as of when they will reopen.
In an interview with School Week, NAHT secretary general Paul Whiteman suggested that schools should reopen as soon as it is safe to do so.
“We have not yet seen any indication that the demands of social isolation are such that things will change for schools in the short term,” he said.
“That said, once the scientific opinion that schools can return safely, they must do so, even if it is for a very limited period before the summer break, as this will allow young people to familiarize themselves with the environment educative.
“Any return to normality must be planned. It can’t be like flipping a switch on a Friday night and thinking everything will be fine on a Monday morning. “
Geoff Barton, secretary general of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), told Schools Week: “What we don’t want to do is make people believe that schools will open in a week, but we let’s start thinking about what it would look like if we pick up the kids for a few weeks during the summer session.
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“I think, quite viscerally, that if public health experts indicate that schools can return before the summer vacation, even for two weeks, there will be a feeling of educational revival, of bringing young people together.
“We have to think about how you do this, but I think there would be something incredibly cathartic about it. “
Schools will not reopen if public health experts say the timing is not right, said Barton.
Kevin Courtney, deputy secretary general of the National Education Union (NEU), told the PA news agency: “When it is time for schools to reopen, it will be very important that this is planned with teachers and school heads and that it be phased.
“However, the National Education Union sees no evidence to justify speculation that it will be soon.
“We think such speculation is unnecessary because if people believe that schools will reopen soon, they will be more likely to avoid further restrictions. It is essential that we stay indoors as much as possible to stop the spread of the virus. “
Earlier this week, a study by researchers at University College London indicated that school closings do not appear to have a significant effect on the spread of infections during epidemics such as Covid-19.
Researchers have found that school closures alone are expected to reduce deaths by about 2% to 4% in the midst of the UK’s Covid-19 epidemic, which is less than other measures. social distancing.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Education said: “Schools will remain closed until further notice, except for children of critical workers and the most vulnerable children.
“We will reopen schools when scientific advice indicates it is safe to do so. “