Could schools reopen for the summer term?
- Credit: Archant
The debate over how and when lockdown is lifted stepped up a gear over the weekend as it was revealed schools and nurseries across Suffolk could re-open as early as May or June.
It was reported over the weekend that a “quad” of ministers – stand-in PM Dominic Raab, Rishi Sunak, Michael Gove and West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock – had drawn up “traffic light” for lifting lockdown measures, with various dates muted for the initial stage.
Under the green light - the initial stage - some small, non-essential shops, hairdressers, warehouses and nurseries would reopen and it was reported this could be as early as mid-May.
In the second wave, schools would return and office workers would be encouraged back to work.
It was reported that pubs, cinemas and gyms would be the last businesses to reopen.
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Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove, however denied the reports and insisted Whitehall is assessing scientific evidence before any changes are made.
Mr Gove said: “It is the case that we are looking at all of the evidence, but we have set some tests which need to be passed before we can think of easing restrictions in this lockdown. “It is entirely understandable, of course, that there should be a public debate about how we approach these difficult choices.”
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Education secretary Gavin Williamson also debunked the claims on Twitter, saying no decision has been made on when schools will be allowed to reopen to children they are not currently taking care of.
Mr Williamson said: “I can reassure schools and parents that they will only reopen when the scientific advice indicates it is the right time to do so.”