UK’s top medical experts give green light for schools to reopen in September as risk is ‘exceptionally small’


BORIS Johnson’s vow to reopen schools next month was last night boosted by the UK’s top medical experts.

They gave it the green light because absence from the classroom fuels inequality.

Medical officers, including England’s Chris Whitty, gave the green light for schools to reopen

Fourteen chief or deputy medical officers from all four home nations — including England’s Chris Whitty — made an unprecedented public statement.

Evidence shows there is an “exceptionally small risk” of child deaths from Covid-19.

The fatality rate for those aged five to 14 is lower than most seasonal flu infections.

Professor Whitty said: “The balance of risk is very strongly in favour of children going to school because many more are likely to be harmed by not going than harmed by going even during this pandemic.”

He said there is a “reasonable chance” of vaccines to help beat coronavirus arriving before winter next year.

The move is a relief to the PM who visits a school this week as he ramps up his “back to class” campaign.

But action plans will be needed if virus rates surge.

Pubs and restaurants could temporarily close to help keep local schools open.

Many schools, like this one in Essex, are taking precautions to make the return to school safer

The statement reveals most pupils who get coronavirus have mild or no symptoms.

It states: “Few if any will come to long-term harm due to solely attending school.

“This has to be set against a certainty of long-term harm from not attending school.”

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