|COVID–19 NEWS||Decision to close schools based on joint assessment - Dr Adham | Reconfigure skills and enhance business acumen to prepare for post-COVID-19 era -- Chow | Four places in S'wak placed under EMCO - JBPN | Four places in S'wak placed under EMCO - JBPN | EMCO at Maahad Tahfiz Sains Tanah Merah in Kelantan from April 19 to May 2 ||
LONDON, March 8 -- Schools and colleges across England are set to reopen on Monday in the first step of the UK government’s roadmap out of the COVID-19 lockdown, following the downward trend in the rate of coronavirus infections over the past few weeks.
"The reopening of schools marks a truly national effort to beat this virus. It is because of the determination of every person in this country that we can start moving closer to a sense of normality - and it is right that getting our young people back into the classroom is the first step," UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement.
Johnson, who unveiled the roadmap on Feb 22, stressed on Sunday that authorities have taken a cautious approach to preserve the progress made so far, and urged people to get the vaccine and get tested for the coronavirus, as scientific evidence has shown that one in three people who have COVID-19 show no symptoms and will be spreading it without realising it, reported Sputnik.
"Our roadmap is built on the principle of replacing the protection that comes from lockdown with the protection that comes from vaccines and regular testing," Johnson said.
As part of the new safety measures to be implemented in England, secondary school and college students will be asked to wear face coverings in classrooms where social distancing cannot be maintained.
Students will take two quick-result COVID-19 tests per week in order to identify asymptomatic carriers, with nearly 57 million lateral flow tests already delivered to schools and colleges across the country.
Scotland and Wales started a staggered return to classes on Feb 22, while the semi-autonomous government of Northern Ireland pledged to give a definitive answer in what concerns the reopening of schools this week.