TOP government scientists yesterday said it is safe for schools to reopen in two weeks — as teaching unions block plans.
Calling for “perspective”, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jenny Harries said only two or three people in 1,000 are currently infected and the number is falling.
Speaking from No10, she said: “People need to think through in an average school, with 100 children, the likelihood of anybody having this disease is very small and diminishing with time, so I think we just need to keep that in perspective.”
She said pupils will be treated as “family groups” in classes of 15 to prevent any spread of infections meaning there was no need for PPE.
Each “bubble” will not be able to mix with other kids at the school.
She added: “Teachers are brilliant, and I know as a parent they’re often much more productive than I was at trying to get my children to wash their hands and practise good hygiene.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock added: “I wouldn’t support a proposal to start to reopen schools unless it was safe to do so — and it is safe to do so.
“There’s an awful lot of work to do at each individual school to make sure that is done in a way that’s safe.”
There will be a phased return for primary pupils and Year 10s and Year 12s from June 1.
Top advisors Sir Patrick Vallance and Professor Chris Whitty met with union chiefs yesterday to explain the science.
But unions said they were “left with more questions than answers”.