CHILDREN’S Commissioner Anne Longfield is right to say shutting schools again in the event of a second wave must be a last resort and not the default option.
Despite what militant teaching unions say, the risk of keeping schools open is vanishingly small.
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A new British study — one of the world’s largest — confirms there’s little evidence Covid-19 transmits in a class environment.
Meanwhile, the cost of shutting schools is too massive to measure.
Children learn more than grammar and algebra in their classrooms; they learn how to make friends, work in groups and speak to adults.
The longer they’re stuck at home, the more likely it becomes that they’ll suffer social, mental and academic problems well into adult life.
Getting children back behind their desks for the new academic year won’t be easy.
Making schools “Covid-secure” could mean weekly testing, armies of council workers with clipboards and punishing cleaning regimes.
But today’s kids, like those before them, deserve a proper start in life. And any nation worth its salt would move heaven and earth to give it to them.
End hol gamble
THE risk of your family’s vacation destination being declared a coronavirus hotspot overnight has turned summer holidays into an expensive game of roulette.
Those returning from areas that have had restrictions suddenly imposed are being asked to stay away from work, yet aren’t legally entitled to sick pay.
Unless employers can afford to offer them paid leave, sticking to the rules could mean losing two weeks’ income.
It’s hard to blame the Government for reacting swiftly to clamp down on outbreaks. And it would be bonkers if those returning from hotspots were allowed to roam Britain freely.
But if Boris and his ministers are asking holidaymakers to quarantine after getting back from places deemed safe when they set off, the Government must cough up and pay them compensation for missing work.
If they refuse, they’ll burn through political capital and decimate the tourist industry while they’re at it.
It really is as simple as that.
NEWS that the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 has fallen 96 per cent since the peak of the pandemic is music to our ears.
Of course there’s always a risk that cases spike come winter.
But with signs Britain is finally getting the disease under control, let’s get back to work, shops and restaurants to salvage our damaged economy.
The sun, at last, is shining. It’s time to fix the roof.
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