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Covid-19: Papers justifying government’s plans to reopen schools are “inconclusive,” say union bosses

BMJ 2020; 369 doi: (Published 27 May 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;369:m2108
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. London

Several documents presented to the UK government from its scientific advisers analysing how and when it may be safe to reopen schools in England on 1 June have now been released after pressure from experts and trade unions. However, the papers have not reassured unions and experts about the wisdom of the timetable and have been described as containing “inconclusive” evidence.

The government’s advisory body, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), has produced several documents1 looking at various scenarios or “options” for relaxing school closures that were implemented in March because of the coronavirus.

One of these documents says, “There is substantial uncertainty, with the relative contribution of school openings being driven also by the relative susceptibility and infectivity of children of different ages compared to adults, as …

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