Intended for healthcare professionals


Covid-19: Delaying school reopening by two weeks would halve risks to children, says iSAGE

BMJ 2020; 369 doi: (Published 22 May 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;369:m2079

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  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London

It is not safe to open schools on 1 June, an independent committee of experts has warned, saying that before this happens local authorities must have evidence of low infection rates in the community infection and be able to track and trace new cases of covid-19.

The draft consultation report of the Independent Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (iSAGE) says that delaying a school’s reopening by two weeks to 15 June roughly halves the risk to children, while waiting till September is less risky still.1

The government announced on 10 May that some primary school classes in England would resume on 1 June, although the plan has been met with opposition from teachers’ unions and others, including the BMA.2

The draft report was discussed at a public engagement session on Friday 22 May supported by The BMJ and the online forum Mumsnet, with teachers, parents, and other interested parties contributing to the discussion. A final report will …

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