Primary schools set to reopen in June if coronavirus infection rate continues to slow, Welsh First Minister confirms

PRIMARY schools are set to reopen in June if the coronavirus infection rate continues to slow, Welsh First Ministers Mark Drakeford confirmed today.

The Prime Minister is likely to unveil the government’s “roadmap” out of the lockdown when he addresses the nation next Sunday.

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Schoolkids are a top priority for the government who believes getting them back into the classrooms in the key to getting the nation moving again, The Sun revealed today.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, Mr Johnson is looking to give teachers three weeks’ notice to reopen primary schools to every pupil on June 1.

This will allow parents to return to work after Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Home learning is not easy, particularly when one or both parents are trying to work from home as well.”

Year 10 and Year 12 pupils will then be the first wave of secondary students returning to school at a later point.

Whitehall sources said both moves could be introduced based on the current, reduced infection rate.

Home learning is not easy, particularly when one or both parents are trying to work from home as well.

They added the proposed date of June 1 could be pushed back after analysing fresh data from the Office for National Statistics next week.

The Sun has previously reported some schools could go back in June, and ministers wanted to get some back before the summer break.

And Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed the reports today.

He said they needed to give schools at least three weeks to get ready to reopen.

Speaking to the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, he said: "We are talking about the beginning of June there.

"We are not going to have all the children in on the same day."

Year six kids and primary schools could be the first to go back, he said.

But equally important would be to pursuade families that schools were safe to return to.

"You need social distancing for public health reasons, but also to persuade parents and teachers you are asking young people to come back into an environment that is safe.

"You can open anything you like but if people don't think its safe to go there, they will vote with their feet."

Officials are looking now how to plan to make sure schools are as safe as possible, he said.

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The PM has also been encouraged by evidence under-13s are much less vulnerable to coronavirus infection than adults.

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove has taken charge of a secret operation to get Britain geared up for a return to normal life.

He is running five separate teams of officials drawing up plans for how to end the lockdown.

They have gathered evidence for an exit strategy covering schools, transport, public spaces, recreation and workplaces.

The schools working group has held a series of meetings with scientific advisers to devise a safe plan for re-starting lessons.

Mr Johnson told The Sun on Sunday: “One of the things we want to do as fast as we can is get certainly primary schools back.

“It’s not going to be easy but that’s where we want to go. It’s about working out a way to do it.”

On Thursday, he will set out how he plans to “un-lock” Britain after six weeks at a standstill.

Amid signs of restlessness, he is quick to point out it must be done slowly and carefully to avoid a second spike of deadly infections.

Regions where the virus is rampant could be declared “hot zones” and subject to tighter restrictions.

Towns and cities where Covid-19 is on the decline could get greater freedoms.

Officials will monitor the impact on specific areas and introduce local lockdowns if minsters approve the idea.

Transport is causing the biggest headache as a return to work risks leading to crowded trains and buses.

Firms will be asked to limit the number of workers brought in to offices or factories — or to stagger starting times.


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