Resistance to reopening schools complicates UK de-escalation plan

By Guillermo Ximenis

London, May 15 (efe-epa).- Resistance to reopening schools in the United Kingdom has complicated Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s de-escalation plans.

Some parts of the educational community have criticised the proposal to get students back in the classrooms in two weeks.

It has not been the first bump in the road for Johnson’s strategy to ease the country’s lockdown, which was also rejected by the leaders of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In England, workers who cannot do their jobs remotely began returning to their posts this week as the daily Covid-19 death toll dropped from 627 on Tuesday to 384 on Friday.

A total of 3,560 new infections have been detected in the UK in the past 24 hours after 133,784 tests were carried out in one day, according to the health ministry.

The transmission rate, one of the key factors for advancing a de-escalation roadmap, is between 0.7 and one, above the 0.5-0.9 range that was recorded last week, according to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).

Teaching unions have urged Johnson to back down from his intention to restart classes in three primary school year groups from 1 June.

They have warned that in many schools it is not possible to meet the recommended security measures, such as limiting each class to 15 students.

Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson has said he is willing to “resist” the government proposal and keep schools closed.

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